Watching too much “breaking news” can be detrimental to your health at a time when we’re all doing our best to take precautions to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. But your wellbeing is much more than just avoiding a virus.
Taking care of your mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing is critical at times like this. There’s a lot going on in the world that we can’t control right now so why not focus on things that you can control?
Here are four things YOU CAN control right now.
1. Control What You Watch. Stay informed but not overwhelmed. The news media loves drama. They thrive on bad news. Check in on the news once in a while but DO NOT watch it all day, every day. Do not leave the news on in the background for hours at a time.
2. Control What You Say. Spreading fear and panic might be just as bad as spreading a virus. Of course, we need to talk with family and friends about what’s going on but we also need to keep our lives going. Shifting the conversations to other topics may not be easy but it can help give our stressed minds a break.The constant barrage of bad news is not healthy for any of us. Set limits on how much time you check in on the media. Shut off the news and do something helpful for others or productive for you.
When life throws tough stuff at us, we all think clearer and respond more effectively when we are calm and thoughtful. Choosing a problem-solving, optimistic attitude just works better.
When we’re under excessive stress, our immune systems can become weakened and that’s the last thing we need right now. Science has proven over and over that our attitude DOES impact our health.
3. Control What You Believe. Rumors are rampant and facts are sometimes hard to find. We all have a choice in what we take in and what we believe. In the absence of complete and clear information, we often fill in the blanks with less-than-positive ideas.
The repetitive nature of news coverage can make one believe everything is terrible. And, it’s not. We will no doubt learn a lot from this crisis but we will get through it.
4. Control What You Do. Wallowing in the fear and concern of a crisis is not helpful but being proactive where you can, is.
Here are some specific things you CAN CONTROL and do right now.
a. Practice the New Personal Hygiene Guidelines – Practice the fundamentals of new personal hygiene techniques that you’ve heard a hundred times by now. Wash your hands, cover your mouth, avoid big crowds, stay 6 feet apart, don’t shake hands, clean surfaces often, etc. You know what to do.
b. Enjoy Good Nutrition – More water, less sugar, fresh fruits and vegetables. You’ve heard that before. If you happen to have more time on your hands now, dust off some old cookbooks and try something healthy and new.
c. Change the Channel – Bring good news and more humor into your life. With the hundreds of media choices most of us have streaming into our homes, this is the perfect time to watch, read, and listen to something educational, light-hearted, and inspirational.
d. Appreciate Family Time – If you’re staying home with others, get out some games, start some new crafts, finish some projects but stay active, connected, and productive where you can.
e. Practice Your Spirituality/Religion – Most religions and spiritual practices around the world focus on letting go, trusting, loving, and helping others. We can always do more of that.
f. Expand Your Self-Care – whatever that means to you – meditation, a hot bath, brisk walk in the sunshine, or read a good book.
g. Enhance Your Social Media Presence – Don’t just pile on with more of the same bad news but share something good, meaningful, and helpful. Bring some uplifting energy to the conversation.
h. Offer to Help – Check in on and/or help a friend or neighbor. Bring a meal, give a call, send a note. Connect with those who have less opportunity to get out or talk with others.
Run an errand for those who can’t. Many of us aren’t that good at asking for help. It’s nice when someone offers.
i. Ask For Help – If you’re struggling with any challenges don’t hesitate to ask. This world if full of caring and compassionate people but they can’t help you until you let them know you need help.
We’re all in this together and we’ll get through this together!
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