Watching the news or reading about the Coronavirus pandemic is a very stressful way to start your day. It’s even more stressful if you, a family member, friend or a co-worker is sick. Here are 9 simple stress-reducing tips to help keep you calm during this chaos.
1. Take Four Deep Calming Breaths
This tip is probably the easiest and most powerful thing you can do to keep yourself calm. Begin each day by taking four deep breaths. Close your eyes, relax, inhale through your nose and exhale deeply through your mouth. Do this four times after you wake up while lying in bed, or when sitting or standing in a quiet place. Make it a part of your daily routine until it becomes a habit. Pay attention to your breathing throughout the day, especially when you feel anxious, stressed out at work or sitting in traffic.
Even better, take time to meditate for just 5 minutes every day, preferably first thing in the morning or before you go to bed. Just close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Inhale… and exhale. Need a little guidance? Check out our online Mindfulness Meditation course.
2. Limit Watching News on Your Phone and TV
Sure you want to be informed about the latest Coronavirus news and how it affects you, your family and your community, but try not to obsess over it. Limit watching TV news or checking your phone and social media every five minutes. Put your phone away so you’re not constantly being interrupted with alerts and texts. A good rule of thumb – if you have to check the news, do it once in the morning, again at mid-day and at the end of the day. For all the latest Coronavirus information, check out the CDC website.
3. Stay Positive
Try not to focus on all the negativity surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic. From all accounts, it will undoubtedly get worse before it gets better. The bottom line is that it’s out of our control and that’s what makes it so scary. But the good news is that we can control what we do, how we feel and how we react. So try to stay positive, alert, healthy and safe.
4. Be Prepared
Be prepared for any situation as it arises. Sanitize your home and work area. If you are able to work from home, do it. Avoid large crowds if possible. You still have to live your life but there are things that you can do to make it safer. If you must travel, carry hand sanitizers and wipes. Learn how to wash your hands properly and try not to touch your face. If you haven’t already stocked up on necessities, there’s no need to panic. Order online if you don’t want to fight the crowds or go shopping. Make sure you have at least two week’s worth of food, supplies and medicine… just in case. And don’t forget the liquor or edibles (if you live in a state or country that’s legal). We live in San Francisco so we’re always prepared in case of an earthquake.
5. Spend Time Outside
No matter what the weather (unless it’s blizzard-like conditions), try to spend time outside every day. Walk your dog, go biking, jogging or take a long walk. Being in the fresh air, especially out in nature, is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Research shows that walking briskly at least 30 minutes each day (preferably in sunshine) helps to boost Vitamin D levels, reduces stress and increases your immune system. Encourage walking meetings at work. Take a break at lunch and give yourself 5-10 minutes of outside time. It’s important to get away from your desk and relax. If you are self-quarantined and confined to your home for 14 days, try stretching and breathing exercises to keep your mind and body healthy.
6. Eat Healthy
Eating the right foods and a balanced diet will give you more energy and help to boost your immune system. Energy-boosting and super foods includes: eggs, nuts, avocados, berries, salmon, broccoli, spinach, kale, tomatoes, turkey, kiwis, quinoa, pumpkin, yogurt, beans, mushrooms, onions, garlic, and sweet potatoes. Try to limit fast-foods and junk foods.
7. Binge-Watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ or Hulu
What better time than now to catch up on all your reading or binge-watch your favorite TV shows and movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ or Hulu. Just a reminder… you can sign up for one month for any of these services and then cancel if you don’t want to continue the subscription. We sign up for 30 days and cancel periodically throughout the year to binge-watch our favorite shows. Whip up a batch of popcorn and enjoy spending time indoors away from all the crowds.
8. Plan Your Next Vacation as a “Staycation”
If you haven’t already booked your summer vacation and feel wary of traveling, consider a “staycation.” Enjoy fun things to do with your family or a small group of friends at home or in your city. Be creative. Plan a fun day trip. Ideally, take your kids to a local park or picnic at the beach. Staycations are becoming increasingly more popular. However, if you do plan to go away on vacation, one way to reduce stress is to take out Travel Insurance. Be sure to read your policy carefully so that you know exactly what is covered (cancelations, refunds, medical), especially if traveling abroad.
9. Keep In Touch with Family and Friends
There’s no better way to feel connected than to keep in touch with family and friends, if not in person, than by phone, email or text. You may need to ask for help from family, friends, neighbors and community health workers if you become sick. No matter where we live, we all share in the same anxiety and stress of this current pandemic. Just knowing that our family and friends are safe is a great way to keep calm and ride out the storm.
Take care, stay safe and be well. Please leave any other tips or ideas that you think would help others to keep calm during the Coronavirus pandemic.