So, I guess this is our new normal. Get comfortable, guys. It looks like we’ll be confined for many more weeks. How are you holding up?
How do you cope with stress and anxiety? I went through many phases since the beginning of March when this coronavirus pandemic started.
My phases in dealing with COVID-19
- Denial. It’s in China and looks like they have it under control. Glad I’m far away from it.
- Anger. Irritability, having negative thoughts in my mind.
- Numbness. Deer in headlights. Unable to think clearly or process what is happening. Feeling frozen.
- Fear. Feeling scared. Wanting to cry. Helplessness. Caution. Paranoia.
- Acceptance. Figuring out ways to pivot and looking for the positive opportunities during this time.
What stage are you in with this virus? I’m finally at the acceptance phase which is how I am able to write now. And I’m grateful to be here. Whichever phase you’re in, we are truly all connected. What a way for the universe to show us so! We’ll come out of this stronger than when we started.
7 Helpful tips to get you through the COVID-19 quarantine
Step away from yourself and observe
How are you feeling and why? If they haven’t already, just about every trigger to bring out the worst in us will likely surface over the coming weeks. Try to watch yourself as an outsider and note your behavior, even if you can’t make sense of why. Identify the triggers that lead to your behavior – good and bad.
Take breaks from Social Media and the News
We all want to be informed and tend to be pulled to watch the news and social media. But the media outlets are designed to be addictive. They generate cortisol which keeps us glued to our screens. The fear and panic reported 24-7 is not good for any of us – we need to step away. Harder said than done, I know. It’s like watching a bad train wreck…we can’t help but want to see what’s going on. But try to take at least 1-2 hour breaks throughout the day to get away from the drama. Any ground breaking news will reach you.
There is a difference between preparedness and panic
Our survival instincts are always with us. We are designed to conserve energy – our minds tend to generalize things to expend the least amount of work. We look for evidence to support the stories in our heads which then creates our reality. The problem with this is the generalizations we tend to make are often irrational and not true.
Case in point – the toilet paper craze. What stresses me out most about COVID-19 is seeing the behavior of people at grocery and drug stores. I saw a facebook video of 3 women violently fighting over toilet paper – screaming, hitting, acting crazy.
The desperation makes me feel helpless, scared, and like I have to join in on the frenzy of toilet paper searches and stashing bottled water with the fear that others know something I don’t. I have to remind myself this is irrational!
Deliveries of food and consumer products are not stopping. There is no reason to believe the virus will cause our plumbing to cease. We will have water. We will have food.
Look upon countries further along for guidance
If you’re like me and want some feeling of control in all of this, read up on what’s happening in China, Korea, Italy and Spain. They are all further along with the exposure to this virus. Based on each country’s reactions, we can generally expect similar outcomes and actions by the government, statistics of virus spread, and how long it really takes to get this under control. Note, there are no reports of utilities and consumer product shipments ceasing in any of the countries!
Our mindset is the most powerful thing to tap into and utilize right now
What stories are you telling yourself in your mind? What is triggering those stories? Are they factual or fabricated? What are the triggers that cause your negative feelings? Shutoff the inputs that cause them.
Try to think the opposite version of the negative story you’re telling yourself and find evidence that it can be so. For instance, I went to the store yesterday and saw there was freshly stocked toilet paper and paper towels. No one was running to grab them, everyone was acting very civilized. This was evidence to me that there will not be a shortage of consumer necessities. It made me feel more calm, and I am choosing to believe this story!
Find your opportunities during this time
Remember the games we played asking, “If you were stranded on an island… who would you want with you, what food would you choose, what books would you have, etc?” What are your answers? And do you have what you need? I bet you do.
And how about, – “If I could freeze time, I would do …” Think of all the times you wanted to freeze time. What would you do?
What opportunities are there for you to take during this period to make you a better version of YOU?
Our actions will be remembered
We can act with progress over pause, remain committed to being our best and use this downtime to our advantage. Our loved ones and those we lead are SEEING our attitudes right now. They are witnessing and FEELING our behavior and how we act during this period of uncertainty.
Remain calm, practice gratitude and compassion. This is the time to show up and demonstrate our strength, optimism, resilience, and purpose of the human spirit.
I have the 3 most important people in my life at home with me, I get to see their faces whenever I want all day, I get to run outside, write more, slow down, take this time to catch up on all those things I’ve been meaning to do. Stay healthy and safe, guys! We have all that we need right in front of us.