If you are feeling nervous about the current Coronavirus outbreak, you are not alone. Here are some mindful tips to help you manage your anxiety:
- Manage Your Thoughts. Remember that anxiety is created by the thoughts we tell ourselves. So, if your mind is racing with fearful thoughts, STOP! TAKE A FEW DEEP BREATHS, and bring your attention BACK TO THE PRESENT. Then, focus your attention on positive statements such as, “Right now I feel fine,” or “The majority coronavirus patients have mild symptoms and recover within a few days like any other cold or flu,” or “The whole world is taking this seriously so the risks to me are low.” Practice focusing your mind on these positive affirming thoughts every time you catch yourself dwelling in fear or anxiety. This is being mindful.
- Practice Good Self-Care. It’s always important to pay attention and take care of ourselves but it is especially helpful when faced with a situation that feels out of our control. Good mindful self-care includes: getting good quality sleep; eating a healthy diet; drinking fresh water; and, finding time for some relaxation and fun. Not sure how to have fun without exposing yourself to the coronavirus? Easy – watch cute cat videos on YouTube, download a comedy on Netflix, or pull out a hobby you used to enjoy but have long forgotten about.
- Be Mindful, Not Mired. It is easy to get overwhelmed when you feel scared and often when we come from this state of mind we are reactive than rather than responsive. There is no need for excessive concern, but that being said, this is not the time to put our head in the sand either. Instead, be smart, not scared. Be mindful, not mired. For example, approach social situations and other obligations from a point of view of caution not fear. Avoid shaking hands or hugging people, an enthusiastic wave or air high-5 will work. If you can avoid large groups or unnecessary travel, do so. Practice good hygiene by washing your hands often, using disinfectant wipes and sneezing into a tissue, not the air.
- Ask for Help. If you find yourself not feeling well, perhaps you have a cough, are sneezing or have a fever, the most mindful thing to do is ask for help. That doesn’t mean rushing to urgent care or the emergency department. That means placing a phone call to your medical professional and asking her advice on how to proceed. Unless you are demonstrating true symptoms of a coronavirus it is very likely that your doctor will tell you to stay home. Whatever advice you get from medical professional is the advice to follow. And, reach out for emotional and psychological support as well.
Until we “meet” again, stay well and at least 6 feet away from everyone else!
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