Corona virus, politics, climate change, oh my!
Just when we think life can’t possibly get more stressful or crazy-making, the volume goes to 11.
How are you doing with all of this, especially the fears around this virus that’s spreading across the globe?
It might seem that staying informed, following the news, and keeping up with statistics is helpful, but what I find is that most of that does exactly what we don’t want — raises our stress levels, makes us feel hopeless, and lowers our body’s natural ability to ward off external attacks.
Here’s what is more helpful than keeping up with the fearful images of people in face masks, and maps showing the movement of the virus, and freaking out about what might happen:
- Stay relatively informed, but take lots of breaks from the news and social media.
- Follow the excellent advice to wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer when out and about.
- Spend time in nature, breathing fresh air, tuning into the beauty and wisdom of the plant and animal world. Don’t just be in it, be in mindful relationship with whatever you encounter.
- Shift your awareness from the fearful thoughts to gratitude — what is right in front of you? Focus on the delicious, nourishing food or drink, taking in the vital energy it has to offer. Switch your lens from panorama to close-up.
- Spend time in meditation, calming your mind, relaxing your body, and attuning to the moment you are in, the sensations you’re aware of, the sounds and smells around you.
Fear of the virus won’t keep you from potentially being exposed to it. This is fear of the unknown, attaching itself to something specific and scary.
But it’s proven that increased stress lowers immune function. So in the case of something that is basically out of your control, the most helpful thing you can do is focus on keeping your body and mind strong, at ease, and focused on all that is going right rather than what might go wrong. And, if you feel rundown or at risk, lay low and stay away from crowds for a while.
It’s within your power to streamline what information you take in, and to harness your thinking from “oh no!” to “ah, yes, in this moment I am fine.”
Clean your hands and your mind regularly. This is good advice for any time.