2020 has been a strange year. Who would have predicted that just a few weeks in to this new year, we would be dealing with a global health crisis that has caused thousands of deaths and overwhelmed healthcare systems around the world?
The last several days in particular have felt particularly anxiety -ridden, as we’ve seen mass closures of public spaces and cancellations of events large and small. Some communities are under lockdown or have family members who are in “red zones” and Covid-19 hot spots.
We’ve been advised to stock up on essentials, but many of us can’t get our hands on those because supermarkets and pharmacies are wiped clean of the goods we need to stay healthy and safe. We are afraid to congregate with our friends and family members, particularly if they are part of the most vulnerable populations most likely to be adversely affected by this virus. And, we’re so overloaded with information on tv, radio, and social media, that we’re not even sure how to decipher fact from fiction, sage advice from irrational hysteria.
Now, more than ever, we have to take care of ourselves, both physically and emotionally. Of course, we should be doing things like practicing good hygiene, washing our hands frequently, staying away from crowded areas and definitely staying home when we’re feeling sick. But, social distancing can take its toll as well. Below are five things you can do survive these times of isolation and chaos.
- Eat Well. Grocery shopping might feel like the Hunger Games, but if possible, try to load up on vegetables, healthy proteins, fruits, nuts and grains. Since you will likely be hunkering down for a bit, buying canned or frozen veggies and fruits is probably your best bet. Eating well will help keep your immune system strong and your body feeling good. This is a good time to cook those recipes you’ve been meaning to try or whip up family favorites.
- Move Your Body. While you will probably want to avoid the gym for now, moving your body for at least 30 minutes a day will help you get out those stir crazy jitters. Download fitness apps or do a quick workout on YouTube from the comfort of your living room. Even better, if the weather is cooperative, take a walk or ride your bike around your neighborhood. Getting outside will be good for your physical and mental state.
- Meditate. I’ve talked a lot about the benefits of mediation, and this is a great time to get started if you don’t practice mediation already. Staying in the present is especially important during times like these when it’s easy for our minds to go into overdrive with doomsday scenarios. By meditating even 10 minutes a day, you will experience noticeable benefits.
- Disconnect. Of course, it’s important to stay caught up with updates to this rapidly developing situation. But, it’s also important to disconnect from the news and the internet from time to time. While it’s tempting to stay glued to your television set all day long, doing so will only lead to more anxiety and fear. Try to get the bulk of your information from sources like the CDC and World Health Organization, and limit your exposure to social media and 24/7 news outlets.
- Help Others. If you’re lucky enough to be young, healthy and not otherwise considered among the most vulnerable to the virus, take a moment to think about whether there are ways you can help others who may not be as fortunate. Check up on your neighbors, buy gift certificates for local businesses to keep them afloat during these hard times, donate to organizations that are providing services for the community, purchase only what you need at the store so that others can get what they need too, and don’t forget to thank those who continue to serve the public at grocery stores, pharmacies, and hospitals. We are truly all in this together.
What are some ways you are surviving the Covid-19 pandemic?
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