As COVID-19 makes its way into every facet of our lives, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to remain calm and not panic.
We've been told to stay in our homes in order to prevent spread, but that brings with it the challenge of keeping ourselves occupied without sending ourselves bonkers by focusing our attention on the media and what's happening in the world outside. Try to limit how much news you watch, especially some of the over-hyped reporting that only propagates fear and anxiety. First and foremost, get updates and facts from reliable sources, and then try your best to focus your attention elsewhere.
You can avoid contact with other people and wash your hands more often and more carefully, but your ability to remain calm comes from within. That means you’ll have to take the necessary steps to reduce your stress and anxiety and promote calmness while the virus runs its course.
Here are three of the best ways that you can stay calm and centred in times of COVID-19-related panic:
Meditation & Mindfulness
If you're feeling anxious and stressed as a result of the rapid spread of Coronavirus and you’ve never attempted meditation or any mindfulness techniques in the past, this is the perfect time to try them out and get some practice under your belt.
According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation can play a huge role in helping you to maintain your mental and emotional health. Here are some of the potential benefits:
- Stress reduction
- Anxiety reduction
- The promotion of emotional health
- Enhanced self-awareness
- Increased attention span
- Improved sleep patterns
The best part is: there are plenty of different types of meditation so you can experiment until you find one that suits you. For example, if you’re able to focus for long periods of time, you might want to try out guided meditations or visualization techniques. If you’re looking to stay more active while you’re self-isolating or quarantined, you might find that yoga suits your needs better!
Finding a Creative Outlet
You might be stuck in the house for the next few weeks, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept the likelihood that you're going to go stir crazy. In fact, that’ll probably only increase your feelings of panic during such trying times!
This is a great opportunity to try out some new (or resurrect some old) creative hobbies. When you’re focused on building or creating something new, you’re reducing the amount of focus on the negativity surrounding you. That means exercising your creativity is also a great way of helping you to relax.
A creative outlet can be almost anything - so long as you're getting pleasure out of it. (If it's just causing you frustration, it's defeating the object!) Here are a few things you might want to try out (if you have the supplies readily available):
- Painting, colouring, or drawing
- Cooking or baking
- Singing or playing musical instruments
- Taking photos or making videos of things you enjoy
- Building or making something with things lying around the house
- Journaling (Click here for a link to all our posts containing retirement-related thought provokers which can be used as journaling prompts.)
Basically, the goal here is to find an activity or task that requires an intense amount of focus and makes you happy.
Giving Back & Helping Others
It’s completely natural to be fearful of the unknown but giving back to others can help you to keep your fears at bay. When you’re giving back to the community or helping those in need, you’ll be working to spread compassion and happiness rather than fear and anxiety.
With so many people sick, self-isolating or in lockdown, most people aren’t permitted to leave the home. However, these individuals do still have needs that they now can’t meet on their own.
As long as you’re keeping your distance, not exposing anyone to the virus and not breaking any lockdown requirements, you can deliver food and groceries, chat to them on the phone or do jobs for them such as gardening or carrying out pet care tasks. It’ll make you feel good about yourself while also helping those who need it! So, call your neighbours, post something on your Facebook to let those in need know you're available and how to get in contact.
You can’t do anything yourself when it comes to curing or stopping the spread of COVID-19, but there are things you can do that can reduce your panic and invoke a sense of calmness.
By taking advantage of mindfulness, looking for a creative outlet, and even giving back to those who need it, you’ll be able to stay calm and centred, even in these tough times!