There’s nothing stopping us avoiding scaremongering AND taking sensible steps to contain the virus.
Some people are very anxious and yet, as with all anxiety, none of us KNOW what’s going to happen in the future.
The more we can take responsibility for our own reactions and feelings and avoid contributing to panic but instead help do our bit to contain the virus, the better.
We can’t control what other people do (or the spread) but we CAN do simple things ourselves.
Taking these precautions has minimal downsides.
Learning to bump elbows or toes instead of the automatic handshake may feel silly at first (I quite like the elbow bumps).
Telling yourself you’re boosting your brain power by creating new neural pathways might help motivate you into doing the new behaviour.
Sensible hand washing and drying, keeping hands away from the face, coughing and sneezing into tissues or elbows are, like so much, sensible ways to live life in general.
‘Flus and colds are miserable at the best of times so there’s no downside to being sensible (as opposed to careless or obsessive) about hygiene.
The news reports on contingency plans around Covid 19 can sound dramatic so I hope these tips help you tap into that resourceful part of yourself.
It’s also important that, even if we’re not remotely worried ourselves, all of us do our best to mitigate the spread – taking precautions is about keeping more vulnerable groups as safe and healthy as possible.
We know that stress exacerbates many physical conditions.
The mind body connection is an amazing thing and the more we can do to support our health and wellbeing, the better.
While following medical advice, we can still affirm that our bodies are healthy and whole and know how to heal themselves.
These can help us resist the well worn neural pathways around catastrophising and feeling helpless.
And, as with everything, it’s a practice.
Notice what you’re watching and reading.
Does it empower you or is it clickbait, designed to make you addicted to scary news?
Self care is especially important – are you getting enough immune strengthening nutrients in your meals and drinks?
No toilet rolls in supermarkets is only an issue if you’ve run out at home.
How would it feel to stock up on your favourite fruits and veg?
To spend some time nourishing Future You by batch cooking then freezing portions of smoothies and soups and other nutritions meals?
Are you getting enough exercise?
This might be an opportunity to shake up your routine (if you’re concerned about hygiene in group exercise settings).
Get out for a walk.
Do more of your yoga (or whatever you love) at home.
Get the worry out of your body.
Honour the natural fight/flight response to help your body help your mind (and immune function).
Have a stomp or do some vigorous cleaning – anything to get moving and connect with your strength and resilience
There are lots of online options for so many different types of exercise.
Self soothing is so important. It helps downgrade the stress response and get ourselves back into a more resourceful state.
EFT can be a wonderful way to give your fears a voice AND move past them, releasing any energy blocks around them.
You can learn this simply yourself (there’s a video you can follow HERE and it’s one of the self care coaching tools I’ll be sharing tomorrow evening and in two weeks at Castlebar and Westport Libraries) or work with me online if that appeals.
Check on loved ones, friends and neighbours – especially those who are more vulberable.
Also, including yourself, loved ones, groups impacted more severely and even small and large geographic locations in your Metta / Loving Kindness meditations can be a powerful way to curb the worry and instead connect with that love and compassion.
Remember that there’s so much more to you than your worries (or symptoms) around Covid 19.
How might this whole situation be trying to HELP you?
This is a bit of an advanced practice when feeling anxious but journaling around what might be trying to emerge at a soul level can be helpful.
Why are people taking more action around Covid 19 than around other pandemics that have been killing our fellow souls in other parts of the world for years?
Why are governments taking more action around this than on things like air quality (which impacts respiratory issues making people more vulnerable etc), climate breakdown and so on?
Maybe, this is coming up for healing so we can find more compassion for ourselves and others who are suffering?
I adore the Thich Nhat Hanh meditation around feeling and welcoming all the feelings.
If you’d like to try it now, sit or lie down comfortably and bring your awareness to whatever feeling feels most prominent.
It might be a part of the body that feels hot (or cold), it might be a symptom, it might be an emotion, it might be a pleasant sensation or feeling… simply notice the most obvious feeling and say (in your head), ‘I feel…’
And then, for the more challenging part, ‘I WELCOME…’
We often find it challenging to welcome feelings we’d rather not be feeling, whether they’re physical sensations or symtoms or thoughts or emotions.
Even increasing our mindfulness around which feelings we struggle to welcome more (it may mean welcoming them through gritted teeth) can raise our awareness about what’s coming up for healing in our own responses to Covid 19 and anything else that worries you.