These are challenging times. Here are my recommendations (and tips) on how to get through them.
Firstly, for most of us – this is the first time we are faced with a pandemic. These are unprecedented times. There is a lot of uncertainty and panic around – so it is completely ok to feel some anxiety and panic. That’s a normal reaction. What is not ok though is to lose your head. Yes things are challenging, but losing your head and getting swept over by panic and fear will only impair your ability to do what’s best for you, and those you care about. So feel the fear, but don’t let it take over your senses. Think things through, and think before you act. Focusing on what you can do (and control), instead of focusing on the things that are beyond your control, can be good way to do that. Listening to this podcast can also help give you some insights and perspective staying calm during this stressful time.
Secondly, it’s better to over prepare than under prepare. Precaution is better than cure, and it IS better to be safe than sorry. Especially in the current situation. This means doing things like carrying hand sanitizers with you, washing your hands (especially if you’ve been outside), and avoiding crowded places. Also, be careful of which news source you trust. There’s a lot of fear mongering going on, so get your information from trusted sources. WHO’s portal is a good place to start.
Thirdly, practice social distancing as much as possible, especially if you’re in an area that’s at high risk. This includes maintaining about a 1 meter distance between you and others outside, and it certainly means limiting how often you go out. The less you go out, the less risk of exposure you have. Here is an article where you can learn more about social distancing and how to practice it.
Fourthly, looking after others is important. Very important. But so is looking after yourself. In fact, you can’t look after anyone if you are in bad shape. So make looking after yourself a priority, especially now. Eat well. Get proper sleep. Workout. Don’t just look after your physical health by the way, take care of your mental wellbeing too (that’s vital). If you haven’t gotten into the practice of meditating yet, now is a good time to check that out. Practicing meditation will also help you to deal with things calmly. There are lots of free video tutorials on YouTube, and phone apps, that can help you get started.
Lastly, don’t let your worries impact your compassion. Compassion and kindness will be key to seeing this situation through. Things will very likely get worse before they get better, so it is important to be aware of the importance of compassion and kindness, and make it a point to actively practice it.
It’s not all doom and gloom though – there are lots of positive developments (several treatments in the pipeline, patients of Covid19 cured, China’s economy recovering already, and more), so there is light at the end of this proverbial tunnel. You can read about some of these positive developments, and good news, here.
Yes things are challenging right now, but they will get better. It’s not a matter of if, but rather, when. Until then, remember these 5 things: focus on what you can do, take precautions, practice social distancing, look after yourself (& others), practice kindness and compassion. That’s my two cents on how to get through this challenging and unprecedented time – make of it what you will.
Whichever part of the world you are in right now, I sincerely hope you are well.
Look after yourself, and others.