We’re seeing and hearing it everywhere.
It has flooded the news, social media feeds, and our daily conversations.
It can feel downright terrifying.
Grocery stores are picked clean as people prepare for quarantine. Companies are letting go of employees. Rumors of another recession loom on the internet.
Here, where I live, in Palm Beach County Florida, “non-essential businesses” have recently been ordered to close to slow the spread of the coronavirus in South Florida, which is the “epicenter” of the state’s outbreak.
That means nearly every form of public entertainment is off limits. Now it’s up to me to entertain myself – a challenge I’ve always enjoyed.
Thankfully, many businesses are considered “essential” and remain open. Lucky for me, that includes my favorite grocery store and hardware store.
Amidst all this, I realize that I have a lot to be grateful for…
- My family members are all healthy, including me.
- My husband and I don’t have to travel for a few months.
- We can still get food, fuel and other supplies (except toilet paper – I can’t figure out why that is in such high demand, and I’m grateful for tissues).
- I can work from home (and enjoy doing so).
- Our air conditioner is working (a necessity when you live in South Florida).
I don’t know how long this situation will last, yet I feel confident that I can handle it… that we can handle it.
You may be wondering, “How can she feel so confident?”
It’s because I believe that everything happens for a reason. Regardless of what’s happening around me, I trust that the Universe has my back, no matter what. The greatest gift that I’ve given myself is learning how to let go of control and live in the certainty that everything will work out for my highest good.
So, in the face of this pandemic, what can YOU do to not only cope but actually strengthen your mental and emotional well-being?
Let’s first look at what you might be feeling right now…
You might be feeling fear. Anxiety. Overwhelm. Signs of burnout, even.
That’s why I am deeply committed to supporting you to feel calm and empowered again, mentally and emotionally.
Here are some tips for how to find hope, peace, and calm amidst the chaos.
#1 Limit Your Media Exposure
You want to stay informed on the latest developments. So little is known about coronavirus and you want to protect yourself and your loved ones.
But your search for updates can quickly turn into an obsession. Beyond regular disinfecting and avoiding crowded places, what more can you do?
Are the news notifications you receive every hour worth the added stress and anxiety? Will you allow coronavirus to occupy not just your newsfeed but your mind, as well?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by news surrounding coronavirus, consider limiting your media exposure. Perhaps you can check it just once per day — preferably in the late morning or early afternoon so it doesn’t interfere with your morning productivity or sleep quality. Or avoid it entirely and get the highlights from a trusted family or friend.
#2 Make Quality Sleep a Priority
If sleep isn’t a priority for you already, now is a good time to change that.
Studies show that insufficient sleep can have a negative effect on your immune system. “Without sufficient sleep,” The Sleep Foundation reports, “your body makes fewer cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation, effectively creating an immune response.”
Give your body the strength and rest it needs to protect you from coronavirus.
If you want to boost your immune system…
If you want to restore your energy…
If you want to soothe any stress and anxiety triggered by recent news…
Start prioritizing your sleep. That means getting a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep.
If you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night, be sure to check out my advice on how to overcome insomnia.
#3 Journal Your Worries
Uncertainty is sometimes the most frightening.
So little is known about coronavirus and the situation is evolving everyday. With each answer received, more questions surface.
And staying calm while you wait for more answers is so challenging — especially with news of businesses shutting down and lockdowns being initiated.
“How will I be affected?” you think to yourself.
A calm mind feels nearly impossible when you’re overwhelmed by anxiety, fear, and stress.
Journaling can be the emotional release you need.
And it doesn’t have to be a structured process either. You can just write about how you’re feeling. Maybe write a prayer for yourself and your loved ones. Or just what you hope to achieve during the day.
Anything you want. All that clutter in your mind and heart — get it down on paper.
Journaling might not cure coronavirus. But it can do wonders in managing your overwhelm.
#4 Consume Immune-Boosting Foods
Social distancing and disinfectant wipes are great for your external defense. But don’t forget to fortify your internal defense, as well.
Consuming the right foods will give your immune system the boost it needs to keep you physically, mentally, and emotionally resilient.
On your next grocery run (or home delivery), consider filling your cart with these superfoods:
- Citrus fruits for a potent dose of vitamin C
- Broccoli, which is packed with vitamins A and C
- Spinach for antioxidants
- Greek yogurt for probiotics
- Grapes and raspberries for quercetin, a chemical that combats infection
You may also want to stock up on frozen proteins and vegetables, canned goods, and other consumables. Mandatory quarantine is a possibility and you’ll want to prepare while you can.
#5 Take Deep Breaths
When dealing with coronavirus, your mind can get pulled in different directions.
I need to stock up on supplies. How do I protect my family? Will this affect my livelihood?
The fear and uncertainty surrounding coronavirus might push you into panic mode. You’re scrambling to get things done but the sheer anxiety and overwhelm is sometimes paralyzing.
When this happens, sometimes the best thing to do is also the simplest — take a deep breath.
Try it right now.
Slowly breathe in through your nose as you count to five. Feel the oxygen expanding your body — your belly fills, your chest stretches, your shoulders rise.
Hold the breath for seven seconds.
Now exhale even slower as you count to ten. At the same time, imagine all your stress and worries being released from your body. How did that make you feel?
You might feel more calm and clear-headed. This is because deep breathing is known to invoke your body’s relaxation response.
Deep breathing helps focus and center your scattered attention within your body.
Do you have another tip to help you stay calm during this time of uncertainty? Share it with me in the comments below.
#6 Seek Help
There is little speculation on when the coronavirus outbreak will end. And listening to the news might leave you feeling powerless and overwhelmed.
There is just so much on your mind. You need to stock up. You’re worried for your loved ones. You might be panicking for your own safety.
When this happens, remember to practice the deep breathing exercise I shared earlier.
When you’re feeling calm, remember that you are neither helpless or alone. You can still feel empowered during this pandemic.
And if you need real strategies on how to manage the sudden overwhelm brought upon by coronavirus, I encourage you to accept my gift of an “Overcoming Overwhelm” Discovery session. In this 60-minute consultation you’ll:
- Reveal a clear and compelling vision of what else is possible for your life when you no longer have so much on your plate and are enjoying your life again
- Get simple and practical tips for how to break free from your symptoms of overwhelm
- Tap into greater energy and inspiration
- Explore how having a partner on your journey will provide a shortcut to all that you desire.