“We cannot always control everything that happens to us in this life, but we can control how we react.” ~ Lionel Kendrick
The corona virus is no longer limited to China. It is here and affects over ninety countries. It continues to spread worldwide, with new cases emerging every day. It’s all over the news and there’s an inescapable feeling of fear, stress, and insecurity.
Just over the past week there have been over fifty confirmed cases in the Bay Area where I live. I’m scared Yes, especially for my older parents who are already immunodeficient. Fear lives from insecurity. And these are some very uncertain times.
But then I am reminded to be careful and not to get carried away by the constant news, the chatter in the office and the Facebook stories that bomb my surroundings. Being mindful does not mean ignoring or avoiding the current situation. It means being present, being aware of it, and knowing everything that is happening with the spread of the corona virus.
Here are some things that help me stay grounded and alert:
1. Be prepared for the things you can control.
We have no control over what happens in life, but we have control over how we react. How can you choose to respond to this outbreak? You can choose to respond to the news, be driven by fear, cause anxiety and stress – or you can choose to be better prepared. Here are some examples:
Physical precautions: You may have trouble finding hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, masks, and other aids, but you can still wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Social precautions: You may want to avoid or limit large social gatherings. Switch to phone calls and video calls to stay connected with friends and maintain your sense of community.
Relationship / family: Discuss additional precautions that are necessary for your safety with family members. Talk to your parents, older relatives, and children about the importance of hand washing and some (or all) of the other precautions listed here.
I (with my brother’s tag team effort) finally persuaded my older parents to cancel their upcoming international trip. When we were able to communicate our concerns from a place of love, not control, my (stubborn) parents were more receptive.
job: Discuss the possibility of working from home with your boss and make sure that you have the necessary equipment and tools to work remotely.
Finances: There is a possibility that you may be asked to stay at home and not work for long periods. If you are not financially prepared for it, it is important to think about it now. Some questions you may be asking yourself are: Where are some areas where I could reduce unnecessary expenses? How can I save more in an emergency? Who can I ask for financial support if I exhaust my resources?
fitness: Instead of going to the gym, you could think about running in nature or exercising at home.
Disorders such as school, work and business closures can cause anxiety and stress. But these things are beyond your control. The best thing you can do is to be as prepared as possible for these disorders.
2. What you focus on grows.
Do you keep a constant eye on the news, in addition to every new case of coronavirus, and talk to any colleague, friend or family member about the outbreak? Think, “Oh my god, what happens if I get it and give it to my children? The whole world will be infected soon! “What are your anxiety and stress levels? I bet you think you’re at high risk.
You can choose to increase your fear by constantly being flooded with this type of information, or you can choose to anchor yourself in a belief that is true for you. An example could be: “I take the necessary precautions to be as safe as possible.”
If you feel anxious, a mantra of kindness can be helpful: “May I be safe, may I be healthy, may I live with ease.” My friend Dave Potter offers a thirteen-minute meditation on loving-kindness Here.
I am not ignorant by avoiding the news, I recognize what information I am exposing myself to. I teach myself about the kind of precautions I need to take – not out of fear but out of discernment so that I can take the necessary precautions from a smart, clear, centered place.
3. Take care of your health (mind, body, soul).
This goes without saying, but caring for your health should always be a top priority. In times like these it is even more important to take care of our health and build a strong immune system.
Sleep well. Sleep affects your immune system. You are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus if you do not get enough sleep (and good sleep!).
Eat well and exercise. Healthy eating habits and exercise are crucial for optimal health. Exercise and a healthy diet promote well-being and strengthen immunity.
Self-care / self-love. They can sleep well, eat well, and be in good physical shape, but can run around hectically, race a million miles a minute, and try to satisfy everyone else’s needs. Stop and do something for she. Whether you need five minutes to bathe in the warm sun, enjoy a hot bath or take a walk in nature. Do something every day (no matter how small) just for you.
Meditation / mindfulness practice. Breathe, sit in silence, watch your thoughts without judgment, be quiet. They know that meditating or practicing mindfulness has huge benefits for your health. Make it a priority.
The corona virus is a real outbreak and deserves appropriate attention. However, the more stress you have, the more you lower your immune function and the more susceptible you are to viruses.
You can take the necessary precautions to be safe, reduce the likelihood of exposure, recognize what you’re focusing on, and keep your mind, body, and spirit in optimal health.
May you be safe.
May you be happy
May you be healthy.
May you live with ease.
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