I PANICKED the other day. Just like that, I cracked like an egg.
Yet, I couldn’t seem to stop. I was glued to my phone. To the news. To contradictory articles. To the voices of others.
And, there were several good reasons for my concern. For one, we have a close (older) family member in the hospital. Then, my kids’ school closed. And my husband’s company sent them home with exposure concerns. Additionally, many events and programs around my city were canceled.
It felt like mass panic.
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As a result, I spent half of the day anxious and distracted And I HATED feeling that way.
Finally, I thought…
- I need to get myself away from technology for a while.
- What can I control about all this?
It’s life and therefore there are aspects we have no power over. We can’t control our age, the way it spreads, or if we have an underlying health condition. But that doesn’t mean we’re entirely victims.
The key is to focus on what can be done and take a deep breath about the rest! So, here goes…
What We CAN Control…
Follow the CDC Recommendations
For starters, we should follow the CDC recommendations which have probably been beaten into you by now.
The website has clear advice such as wash your hands for twenty seconds, keep your distance from others, disinfect, cover your cough, and stay home if you’re sick – all common sense things!
Choose How You Respond
Next, can you find the silver lining?
If you’re stuck at home, perhaps this is a great opportunity for family time. Or a chance to buy some new books, focus on your fitness, or start a garden. The incredible opportunities for this newfound free time are endless, you just need to see it that way.
Furthermore, emotions are contagious.
Can you uplift instead of fuel panic? This can be extremely difficult (due to our biological instincts), and I too struggle. But, strive to be the calm voice of reason when others need it. It’s NOT EASY to go against the herd in uncertain times, but it’s worth the effort.
“We have little power to choose what happens, but we have complete power over how we respond.”Arianna Huffington
Take Care of Your Immune System
Certainly, you control how well you take care of yourself and your family.
And the severity of ANY virus depends greatly on our health. So, here are the things you can do to put yourself in a great chance of fast recovery if you do come in contact with sickness.
Manage Your Stress
Stress is a known suppressor to the immune system, and if you live pretty much anywhere, you’re receiving a massive amount of stress signals. The stock market, job uncertainty, the virus, and the news are sending constant messages of distress.
So, it’s critical to handle this stress in any way you can. Try meditation, reading, and journaling. Also, set specific times when you’re away from your technology and the news (a key source of the stress).
Sleep gives the immune system a chance to regroup and reset. (source) It’s invaluable in keeping our immune response in fighting order. So, aim for 7-8 hours as often as possible.
Related Post: How to Get Your Best Night’s Sleep
Eat Your Fruits & Vegetables
Sugar and processed foods can increase inflammation in your body (source). Yet, leafy greens and vegetables create a chemical signal that promotes a healthy immune system (source). Finally, fruits give us the vitamin C required to help with colds and viruses.
Bottom line, we all know they’re good for us. So, now’s a fantastic time to up your intake of the healthy stuff.
At our house, we’ll be making easy morning smoothies for the foreseeable future.
Check out How to Eat Healthy on a Budget for more tips!
Move Your Body
Physical exercise has been shown to increase the immune cells (T-cells) that attack viruses and bacteria (source). It also greatly improves your body’s sugar response and stress levels (as discussed above).
Regular movement is a must for an immune system that reacts and recovers quickly.
Get Vitamin D
And finally, many of us are low in Vitamin D – an all-important vitamin for your immune system. Studies show that it plays a critical role in helping to fight infections (source). So, get outside as often as possible.
Additionally, I take the Vitamin supplement here, but different brands and doses are found everywhere. Obviously, check with your doctor if you have questions or concerns.
Related Post: The Sick Kit: How to be Prepared for Flu Season
Prepare to Stay Home
Finally, if buying toilet paper makes you feel better, than go for it. You’ll eventually use them, just leave some for others. The same goes for any other products that store well.
It’s good to have emergency supplies for any kind of natural disaster occurrence. So, that’s not an overreaction, it’s called being prepared.
Something to Consider About the Virus
Honestly, I’m not going to throw Coronavirus stats at you and tell you to freak out, or not. Most of the stats are skewed to fit the purpose of the article and have variables we don’t know about anyways. Like everyone else, I have no clue what the future holds.
But I do know that panic doesn’t help us much.
So, take it seriously, but also keep a clear head. Stock up on things you need and stay home. Control what you can, and let go of the rest.
Like everything, this too shall pass.
What are you doing to control what you can? Are you remaining calm?
Don’t forget to spread some positivity to others along the way!