In the last couple of weeks, our world has been rocked and shaken by COVID-19. A lot of this fear has come from the fact that it is a new virus in which no one has immunity and which there is no vaccine. This fear has further led to herd mentality, with many people letting their emotions and their fear of others negatively influence their decision making. All this panic is causing increases in hatred towards others, anxiety, and feelings of hopelessness. We are all human and it’s in our nature to be anxious in times of chaos, but we must also remember that we can be reasonable and cautious without being frightened. Here are 5 things you do to keep yourself calm and level headed during this time:
- Reduce your daily interactions with social media and up-to-the-minute news. Many times of the stories that we see on social media and the news are stories of the worst-case scenario. These stories are meant to ignite strong reactions and feed into people’s fear. The reality is–the majority of people who have tested positive for corona-virus are recovering and some even without any particular intervention. When all you consume is the “worst-case scenario” stories, there is no way you won’t be filled with hopelessness. You can educate yourself by checking fact based and widely trusted sources like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and information from the government.
- Be Informed and know your facts. The word “Pandemic” often sends people into a frenzy! It is a fact that COVID-19 has been labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organization but it is not a fact it being a pandemic means that everyone is dying. A pandemic simply means that the virus is now widespread and is occurring globally. One of the best ways to fight this pandemic is make sure that you are taking constructive precautions and listening to both health and government officials. Stay away from large crows, social distance, self-isolate, disinfect surfaces, and wash your hands as often as you can.
- Counter your fears with reason. According to Henry Ford Health System psychologist Philip Lanzisera, it is important to ask yourself: “What are all of the reasons I should feel safe?What are all of the things I am doing to make a bad outcome less likely? Why should I not be afraid?” Assure yourself by following the recommendations given by the CDC and have confidence in the fact that you are taking whatever precautions needed to keep you and your loved ones safe.
- Be creative with your daily routine. It is very easy to enter an unending cycle of boredom and redundancy during this time. Occupy yourself with different hobbies and relax your mind. Play the piano, start a reading list, play a game of uno or monopoly, mediate, relearn guitar, or begin your childhood dream of becoming a master chef within your home. All these activities can help your fears and anxieties at bay and help you find peace in the midst of chaos.
- Stay connected. There are many ways in which you can keep up with friends, family, co-workers, and even neighbors. Through different applications such as Skype, face-time, or Zoom, you can see your love ones and friends face-to-face and still make memories. You can call and text and even watch movies with others through your phone or laptop. Keeping connected to others is a great way to combat feelings of depression, fear, hatred, or confusion.
From everyone here at HLH, we hope everyone stays safe and remembers to reach out to one another during this time of isolation. In times like this we all need to remember to stand together and band together as a community, spread kindness and love, and keep hope.
Together we can make an impact on the health of the nations and the generations to come.
The mission of HLH is to increase accessibility to medications and supplies for healthcare facilities in Guatemala. If you are interested in hearing more about the work we are doing, or in connecting with us, you can visit our website, check out our instagram or facebook, or sign up to receive our newletters. If you would like to support us in our work, please donate here.