As human beings, we like to plan, prepare, and have certainty of what our next few days, weeks, and months will hold. When something in our environment comes along and changes the status quo, it can be really difficult to manage the anxiety that comes along with uncertainty. Right now, our conversations, social media, and mass media platforms are infiltrated with talk about COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus. While many of these sources are offering helpful ways to reduce risk and provide a sense of comfort, there is an overwhelming sense of anxiety and fear.
In times like these, it is vital to prioritize your mental health and self-care. You may feel a series of emotions including fear, discomfort, sadness, confusion, and uncertainty. You may find that daily tasks are more challenging to complete, and that your baseline anxiety has increased due to perceived lack of control over your life. Know that in the midst of these turbulent times, you are not helpless, and you are not alone.
Take A Moment to Check in with Yourself And Your Needs - It can be challenging to separate messaging from others from what you actually need for yourself. Find a quiet place, take a moment, close your eyes, and tune in to what you feel, and what you need in this moment. Then, grant yourself permission to give yourself what you need. Take a deep breath, allow yourself 5 minutes to meditate, practice a gentle yoga flow.
Set Boundaries That Serve You - Be informed, but not afraid. Turn off the tv, disconnect from social media, and kindly ask loved ones to refrain from perpetuating panic.
Find Your Stability - Routine can be a really helpful tool to remain grounded. Try your best to maintain as much of your routine as possible, even if this just means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. If you are working from home, continue your morning routine as if you were going into the office, and take frequent breaks from your work.
Maintain Self-Care - Now, especially, is a time when self care does not have to be luxurious, but realistic. Wash your hands, brush your teeth, drink a lot of water, get outside and get some fresh air if you are able to, eat your fruits and vegetables (wash them first), and get enough sleep. Invite small bursts of mindfulness and meditation into your increased hygiene routine. Can you be really present while washing your hands?
Connect With Your Support System - In a time when we are told that “social distancing” is the safest course of action, we might feel isolated and alone. Make time to reach out to a friend or family member via call, text, or email. Maintain regularly scheduled therapy sessions, and reach out to your therapist to discuss tele-therapy options if you are concerned about going into the office. You do not need to be alone, and you always have support.