It’s easy to get stuck focusing on negative thoughts anytime, but especially during a Pandemic. If that happens, we can miss possibilities, opportunities, and solutions to issues. By choosing to focus our minds and energy on something positive, the window may open for us to visualize something new or productive. A few ways to shut down negative thoughts is through the use of affirmations and visualization. Continue reading “Where You Put Your Focus is Your Choice”
Self-care right now is paramount as we continue to be bombarded with negative news, conflicting information on states reopening while still in a pandemic. Our emotions range from — outrage, mourning, uncertainty, confusion, apathy, disgust, and hope. Now more than ever before is the time to take good care of yourself.
There are a few simple things that we can do to help alleviate stress or apprehension:
Lay off of social media, constant engagement is not a good thing. Our minds and bodies can only manage so much. Unplug and give it a break you need.
Your body is your temple, and it deserves love and care to serve you properly. Eat well, stay hydrated, sleep, shower, and incorporate breathe work and physical activity.
Allow joy into your life. Relax, breathe, and recall or find the things that make you laugh and smile. You are allowed to be happy right now.
Protect your space and your mind. The power is yours; you have the choice to say no if a conversation starts to feel like too much. If someone attempts to argue or make you feel bad, say no and disengage either in-person or online.
Remember, you can only do so much. We all feel heavy and weighed down from time to time. If our productivity is low, allow yourself to feel tired, it’s okay tired, but do not give up.
Create in whatever way you feel called to do. Embrace music, art, embrace love. We are creating a “new normal,” so now is an excellent time to explore your creativity, whatever it may be.
Lastly, set a vision for how you want the next few months or even next year to be for you. How will it look, what lesson(s) were learned, what is your goal? Take this unplanned downtime to prepare for the future you want to manifest in your life going forward.
Unfortunately, according to Scientist, Coronavirus-19 may be with us for some time, perhaps even years. There is no possible way for most people to remain in quartine, and homebound forever. Besides staying home, we know the necessary recommendations for remaining safe and virus free: wash your hands, wear a mask, and social distance.
Health experts indicate that the best way to slow the spread is to limit social contact as much as possible. There is no way that life will return to “normal,” as we re-emerge from quarantine. Nor is there a surefire way to eliminate our risk. A fact of life is that social distancing may be with us for a while.
Infectious disease epidemiologists from Harvard and Boston Universities say that there are options, and there is a middle ground between remaining in the house and venturing out. They’ve created an infographic to help us make decisions about social distancing as we leave our homes and begin socializing. Social distancing will only work if enough of us do it. If done correctly, it could mean the difference between the life and death of someone you know.
Humans are resilient beings, with a long history of dealing with unfamiliar diseases — from the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic to the 2002 SARS outbreak. However, COVID-19 is unlike anything most of us have ever experienced. And with the quarantine, loss of our freedom, financial security, and other necessary resources, many of us find our resilience waning.
Doctors at Medstar Washington Hospital Center advise that there are small things that can help us manage our mental health during this pandemic:
Take a deep breath. Breathe deeply, ten times, through the nose, and exhale slowly through the mouth with pursed lips. It is recommended that this be done daily, as part of a routine and also whenever anxiety levels start to rise. Breathing techniques can help us calm down and give our brains time to pause, reset, and slow down.
Focus on what you can control. Anxiety can set in when we feel as if we’re losing control. The news concerning COVID-19 changes daily, and daily updates can be alarming, but we must try not to focus on what we can’t control, and instead think about things we can do now. Short time planning can help, try taking one day at a time, or even hour by hour to help change our outlook.
Do things that make you happy. Being homebound allows us time to discover or rediscover hobbies or skills we had little time to pursue. The sky is the limit, and we can use this time to learn or do something we’ve always wanted to do but never had the time to do.
Stay connected with your loved ones and friends. Social distancing doesn’t mean isolation. Technology makes staying in touch so easy, be it by phone, email, or social media. We can reach out and see one another with the use of Apps such as Zoom, WhatsApp, Goggle Duo. Reaching out goes a long way to provide reassurance that someone is there.
Take a break from social media and the news for a bit. It’s an excellent idea to limit the time spent listening or reading about COVID-19. Turning off the barrage of information can be good for your peace and as well as your mental health.
Help others. Doing for others is an excellent way to care for ourselves, as showing concern for others may help improve our outlook. Checking on elderly neighbors and volunteering, if able to, can counteract the effects of stress, anger, anxiety, and be good for our overall psychological well-being.
Most of all, continue to follow the safety recommendations and remember to stay calm and focused; there is a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel and we need to be sane and whole once it is over.
You may think that reading books during this unimaginable time is not essential. However, reading can provide an escape from our worries. As we struggle with uncertainty, the constant bombardment of pandemic news and living in quarantine, something as simple as reading can help slow our brains down, as well as provide other benefits. Reports indicate that committing part of every day to read printed books can help make us more relaxed individuals.
Thirty minutes of reading can help us slow down and lower our stress levels, similar to 30 minutes of yoga. It can make us kinder by helping us to step outside ourselves and empathize with the characters. It provides an alternative to scrolling through cellphones at night, which makes it harder for us to fall asleep and leads to an overall decline in sleep quality. Some experts say reading books, on the other hand, can have relaxing effects, making it the ideal bedtime activity.
Try escaping into a book for a brief respite from current events.
Practicing self-care during a shutdown is extremely important. It doesn’t matter where you are; in this time and place, we are all experiencing a situation that is so unthinkable and surreal. No matter where you are, we have all been affected by the COVID-19 virus in some way, shape, or form, and we all have concerns, be they health, financial, familial, or otherwise.
Now more than ever, it is essential to take good care of our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. We have no control of the virus or how the government handles it. We can, however, control how we manage our and our loved ones lives during this time. As we know, it is paramount to stay as healthy, balanced, and nurtured as we possibly can. There are ways to practice holistic self-care and build some semblance of enjoyment into every day during this trying time. Remember, it’s the little things!
RECOGNIZE *** REINVENT***
Today is the first day of spring 2020! Called the March equinox or vernal equinox, it is the season of new beginnings. Traditionally celebrated on March 21, spring of 2020, according to the Farmers Almanac, is the earliest Vernal (Spring) Equinox, to have occurred since 1896. The term Vernal translates to “new” and “fresh,” and what that means is that our hours of daylight grow slightly longer each day since the Winter Solstice in December, ( the shortest day of the year -in terms of light). The vernal equinox marks the turning point when daylight begins to win out over darkness.
The advent of spring this year probably feels very different for most of us. Usually, I’m super excited about the spring equinox, but due to the condition that we find ourselves in with COVID-19 find it difficult to get excited. With longer days and warmer weather, it’s usually the time that I, along with many other people, begin to unfurl from the cold dark winter, attack spring cleaning chores, take long-awaited spring break and vacations, and plan summer outings and events. Instead, many of us find ourselves, unfortunately, with the majority of the world in quarantine or under restrictions. It helps to think of spring and daylight winning over darkness.
While provided with this unexpected, indefinite interruption to day-to-day life and activities, it’s an excellent time to just chill! We can use this downtime to recharge, rethink, reflect, and appreciate what’s important. Spring of 2020 will no doubt be recorded as the year that COVID-19 brought the world to its knees. But just like winter, darkness gives way to the light of spring; we must find a way to look forward to the brighter days that will prevail and welcome spring!