Let’s be real, you’d have to either be living under a rock with no technology or in outer reaches of space to not know that the world is in crisis mode.
The Coronavirus or COVID-19 has hit countries around the world and knocked us all for a loop. You may have kids at home, you can’t go out to meet with friends and family and you may be figuring out how you’ll be working within this new reality.
Here in NYC, schools have been shutdown and major gatherings have been banned. Restaurants and shops have either been empty or closed down.
The streets are empty and as a life-long native New Yorker, I can say that the tension in the air is similar to the days following 9/11/01. We didn’t know which way was up or when (or if) we’d feel normal again, whatever that meant to each of us individually.
You’re probably having all sorts of feelings. Know this about your feelings, they are a normal response to an abnormal event. It is the first time that everything has been shutdown for our protection from something that we can’t see. (History buffs and/or medical professionals, please correct me if I’m wrong.)
Now, that I’ve been home for a bit and have done my own crisis work, I wanted to share my tips to keep yourself sane while you’re in crisis mode. Keep reading and see what works for you.
Get back to basics.
This global pandemic has left us shaken and uprooted. And the easiest way I find to ground myself is to make sure I’m eating, sleeping and hydrating. It is very easy to get so stressed out with your own worries about your family and work that you forget to take care of yourself. So make sure you eat your 3 square meals a day, drink lots of water and get at least 6 – 8 hours of sleep.
Another way to manage stress is to go outside. Even though people are staying home, you can still go outside for brief periods of time just to feel the air and sun. If you’re lucky like me, you can escape to the backyard for some fresh air.
Limit access to the news and social media.
I don’t know about you, but listening to all of the noise about the virus has been way too much for me. I realized as an adult that the news scares me especially because of my mental health work. It does nothing except sour my mood and drain me. So I’ve learned to help myself by reducing my exposure to the news and social media.
If you’re already on edge like I am, focus on only one media outlet for all of the information you and your family need. Some suggestions for you are the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization or your state’s official website. I’ve chosen NYC. gov as my preferred place for the most up-to-date information here in New York.
One of the best ways to reduce stress and overwhelm is to stay in touch with loved ones. Yes, gatherings are much smaller now, but this is a great time to use technology to your advantage. Get on video call or use the good, old-fashioned phone call to stay in touch with the people you love the most. I’ve been calling my family members and texting or emailing to check-in.
Here’s the thing – this is UNPRECEDENTED. It seems that the entire world has stopped in its tracks. It’s real and it’s scary. But, we can face this if we do it together. Try these tips to take care of yourself and your loved ones.
Feel free to reach out for more support. Let me know in the comments what’s been working for you and your family.