Coping with Covid- 6 Tips To Help Calm Your Worried Mind

In an attempt to give love without being able to touch or hug anyone, I have been gathering thoughts from various books and articles that I have been reading and I wanted to share some of them with you. I am a faithful believer in the power of happiness, self calming, inner and outer peace, and the ability they have to help us mend when we feel broken. This is such a grossly uncertain time for everyone, but spiraling out of control with your thoughts and anxiety is not the answer. When you really think about it, we are putting all of our belief in something that we cannot see, but we know about (the virus), so there really is no better time to start believing in something else you can’t actually see. The power of our thoughts, our connectedness to the Universe, and the shift in our being, and in our souls, when we have faith instead of fear in the unknown. We are all connected, and we can get through this together. Here are my 6 favourite, very helpful tips to take with you through your day, everyday, even when this is a distant memory… because this too shall pass.

  1. K… keep an open mind for this one… Try Meditation!! It’s so simple, and can make such a profound difference in your whole day. You can look up thousands of mediation tracks online, or simply set a timer (start with 5 minutes) and say something to yourself on repeat like one of my faves, especially right now, (from Gabby Bernstein) “I have unwavering faith in the Universe. I have absolute faith and trust.” Just sit in stillness and quiet or have calming music playing in the background, breath in and out and repeat that to yourself. If you notice your mind wander, just come back to that mantra- “I have unwavering faith in the Universe. I have absolute faith and trust.” 
  2. Get outside! Going for a walk, a hike, a run or a bike ride are all totally acceptable as long as you are practicing social distancing and being aware of others and the space around them and you. STAY HOME if you’re sick or have the virus, but if hiding in your house is taking its toll on your mental health then getting outside for some vitamin D and fresh air is totally acceptable and nothing to be afraid of.
  3. Pay attention to your thoughts, notice them, and redirect them. When you find yourself spiralling into the great unknown (which is absolutely normal in situations like this), try to recognize that you are doing that and flip the switch. When you hear yourself saying “I am terrified to get the coronavirus” recognize that you are thinking that, forgive the thought and yourself, and flip the switch. Try saying instead, “I am healthy right now.”

Or maybe you find yourself thinking “I am so scared that someone will touch me or cough on me.” Recognize that thought, forgive, and redirect. Try saying “I am taking proper precautions.” 

You can build the momentum of positive thoughts just the same as you can negative ones, you just have to pay attention. Recognize that you’re thinking these thoughts, and instead of wishing to turn them off, tune into them instead. One of my favourite quotes that I feel references this perfectly is:

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

~Maya Angelou

This process requires a great deal of paying attention, patience and practice, but if you’re consistent you will notice a significant difference in your anxiety level.

4.Clear your mind before you go to sleep. By 8pm, no matter what time you go to bed, shut down your phone, turn off the news, turn off notifications, and rest! Watch a funny TV show or a Netflix series, read, journal, meditate, or do a puzzle. The constant flow of information regarding this virus is not only endless, but it’s usually on repeat. If you haven’t been updated by 8pm, you can probably sleep easy knowing that the “breaking news” will be breaking tomorrow, too. (and yes, it is possible to leave your phone on for messages or calls from work or family, but you can shut off the “death toll app” until the morning…)

5.* Focus on the positive things, even about this situation. Like what? 

  • Like the fact that the virus can be killed with soap and water, hand sanitizer, and common products like Lysol. Washing your hands and not touching your face is a very simple and extremely effective way to prevent yourself from getting or spreading it. We do not know how long it can live on a surface, but we do know that washing your hands and keeping your hands away from your face after touching a surface is effective. We also know that being infected through food is nearly impossible because your stomach acid will also kill it… and again, wash your hands after eating and preparing food. 
  • MOST people with Coronavirus will recover. The latest studies have shown that around 99% of people who get infected will recover, and some will only experience very mild or no symptoms at all. Although the loss of life is absolutely devastating and the cases are expected to increase, based on the death rate alone, things could be much worse. I have seen the meme go around “if I gave you a bag of skittles and told you 3 of them could kill you, would you still eat the skittles?” ummmm… no. Because that is a very direct and simple calculation with one cause and one effect. Skittles can cause it, and death is the result. If I gave you a bag of skittles and said “if you open it you might release a virus that will infect the world. Or you might not.” Would you open it? No. And you’d wonder why I just asked such a dumb question. Et’s try to focus on the positive… and stop making stupid memes.
  • Children seem to be infected much less, and have much milder symptoms. Although we now know that kids are not totally immune to Covid-19, they are on the lower end of the numbers when it comes to severe or life threatening cases. I am not disregarding the population that IS susceptible, but I am mentioning this because we tend to overreact with worry when it comes to children. 
  • According to some stats, we are better prepared for a pandemic within our nation and our health care systems because of this experience. There is no way of knowing if this will happen again, but we learn as we go, and are able to apply knowledge and experience to future situations.
  • We have the internet! Most of us in isolation have the ability to communicate with family, friends and even doctors via the internet. Seeing a familiar face, even through a computer screen, can lift your spirits and calm an uneasy mind. 

6. This is super simple… write it down and read this to yourself every night before bed, and every morning when you wake up: (or memorize it and use it as your mantra!)

“God/Universe/Creator/Higher Power (whatever you call it) grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

 Because this is something you cannot change, it takes courage to change your thoughts, your beliefs and yourself, and you have the wisdom to figure that out.

Please don’t take my “positive spin” as a disregard for this tremendous situation. I am extremely worried about loved ones that I know are at risk by either being immunocompromised or are putting themselves on the front line because of their line of work, but dwelling on the doom and gloom does not help any of us. This situation may feel out of our control, but we do not have to allow our thoughts and our minds to follow suit. Being informed and taking all precautions as suggested is of the utmost importance, but being in control of your thoughts and your mental health should be right alongside that priority. You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of others, and we all need each other right now. Remaining focused on yourself and having a positive and healthy mind should be held in much higher regard, and I promise I will always be here to share that light. With much, much love, know that staying safe, staying informed, and staying happy can be done simultaneously. XoLeona

 

**resourced from Harvard Health Publishing, The Washington Post, Gabby Bernstein, Marie Forleo