Yes, it’s an overwhelming and stressful time. But you can curb your anxiety around the coronavirus, even when so much is unknown and unpredictable right now.
What’s the open secret of how to do that? Lean in, use your tools (or get some), and face this situation, and yourself, head-on.
Feed on Facts, Not Fiction
Stick to a few trusted news sources for information and stop believing everything you read on social media. Stop continually trolling for new details about the virus every hour; check-in no more than once or twice a day. Know your limits and take a news fast when you need it.
Balance hard news facts with feel-good stories, which you can find on the Good News Network.
Create A Positive Routine
This pandemic has disrupted your life and your everyday routines. No one knows how long it’s going to last or how bad it’s going to get, but there’s a good chance we’ll be sheltering in place for more than two weeks, and that whatever our new normal is after the main threat is over, life will be different than it was.
So rather than just freezing up or pretending this will all go away, take control of your life with a new positive routine. Include self-care like daily movement, sleep, and regularly scheduled, healthy meals. This is not a vacation and shouldn’t be treated like one. When you put your kids and yourself on a routine, everyone will feel calmer, centered, and grounded.
The need for a new routine is especially true if you’re now working from home. Set up a dedicated workspace (maybe your dining room?) and set designated hours for work time.
Take Responsibility For Your Thoughts and Feelings
Stop and decide how you want to respond to all this. Are you going to panic or pray? How do you want to be? Anxious or anchored? What qualities can you bring forward now? Tenacity, humor, creativity?
Create a ritual for when you feel overwhelmed by sadness or fear, such as something as simple as lighting a candle and taking 5 deep breaths.
Practice mindfulness – being present in the moment. If this is foreign to you or feels impossible right now, watch videos and listen to guided meditations by master mindfulness teachers such as Tara Brach, who is continuing her weekly live teachings online. This will help change the negative tape loop in your mind.
Use tools to interrupt when negative thoughts have you spinning out of control. The quickest and easiest thing to do is deep breathing, inhaling for 5 counts, exhaling for 5 counts.
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