This is a moment in history we will never forget. The world around us is full of unknowns. The news surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic is grim. It has many of us asking ourselves, when is this going to get better? And, unfortunately, no one can tell us for sure when that will be.
I’m not going to sugar coat it. This is scary. Really scary. And, the experts are telling us it’s going to get worse. But, stop for a moment and remember something: We’re not helpless. We have clear guidelines on what we CAN all actively do – right now, today – to make a difference for ourselves and the people around us.
- Social distancing may feel awkward, but it’s smart and safe right now.
- Frequently washing our hands and disinfecting surfaces around us isn’t hard to do.
- And, while we probably all touch our faces hundreds of more times a day than we ever thought we did – we know we need to avoid it.
Knowing these steps empowers us all to fight the health risks around us. Remembering that we know it provides us with a different kind of strength: It’s a small way to help diffuse some of the stress and anxiety that’s unavoidable right now.
I’m not suggesting that we strive for unrealistic optimism. I would worry about anyone who doesn’t feel fearful or anxious right now. We’re all human. And, we’re dealing with threats we have never experienced in our lifetimes.
Just be sure to find ways to be kind to your psyche.
In case it helps, current advice from the CDC includes these tips on keeping stress and anxiety at bay right now:
- Take breaks from pandemic news and social media.
- Take care of your body: Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind via activities you enjoy at home.
- Talk with people you trust about your concerns and feelings.
- Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
So, yes, stay informed. Yes, be diligent about the steps you can take to stay safe and healthy. And, also remember to pause every now and then to do something positive for your mind, body and spirit.