I don’t know about you, but all the frantic chaos of this past week about COVID-19 has me stressed out. Not only do I have concerns about my health but I also have a very real concern about toilet paper (we were down to our last two rolls). In an age where we have access to news, information and misinformation at our fingertips, virtually 24-hours a day, how do you avoid falling into the sensationalism while still remaining informed? How do you maintain peace of mind when the world around you seems to be in utter madness? I don’t want it to appear as though I’m minimizing the very real health concern here, my intent is to focus on the things that are within our control to be rationally cautious to reduce exposure while avoiding the hysterical, push the panic button (buy all the toilet paper) overreaction.
The local and national news stations have been seeming providing round the clock coverage and updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve received countless emails from retailers outlining their increased countermeasures to combat the spread of the illness. Podcasts I listen to are even providing content related to this. When I log into social media, I see the full gambit of factual, misinformed and jokes regarding the illness. This simply highlights that we are all concerned and talking about it. While on one hand it is great to be aware and informed, it is easy to be consumed by it. Worrying about the things you have absolutely no control over isn’t doing you or anyone else any good. So, what can you do?
- Stay informed from reputable sources:
- Avoid constant consumption of news– Too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Ask yourself how often you accessed the news prior to the pandemic and try to avoid increasing this by too much.
- Good Hygiene -Wash your hands (you know the drill), cough into your elbow and if you are ill stay home. These should be things we are already doing, perhaps this will encourage others to be more vigilant about doing them.
- Spend time with your family– play games, color, or put on some music and dance it out.
- Stay Active– Go to the gym or workout at home, there are plenty of options to help you stay healthy.
- Netflix and Chill– Binge watch shows that you have been putting off because you didn’t have the time.
- Read– Disconnect from social media and read a book, an article, a magazine. Whatever peaks your interest. If you don’t want to venture out of the house, you can read online. Did you know you can checkout books online (for free) from your local library?
- Music– Listen to things that make you happy. If you are a musician, play your favorite songs. Sing it out like you would in your car (surely, I’m not the only one that does this).
- Catch up on chores– Take some of the extra time at home to catch up on the honey-dos you’ve put neglected doing.
- Create– Write, journal, draw, paint, cook, bake, sing or whatever else you enjoy.
- Call– Take the time to call friends/family and catch-up with each other.
- Meditate– This is such a good practice to use in daily life, that I wish I was more consistent with. It doesn’t have to be full of “oms” or “out there” and there isn’t a right or wrong way to do it as far as I’m concerned. The point is to calm yourself, clear your mind and just focus on breathing. Try it for five minutes and see how you feel.
If you are feeling tense or stressed about the current situtation (or any other for that matter), I would encourage you to try to shift your focus from the things that are out of your control. Overthinking and worrying yourself sick about things, isn’t doing you any good and it isn’t going to change the outcome. However, there are things are within your control that you can do. Sure, you can watch 24-hour coverage and freak out about things you can’t control. Your choice. But please for the rest of us, don’t be a jerk and wipe stores out of all the toilet paper. Buy what you need and leave some for the rest of us. Otherwise, you might be seeing blogs from me in a few weeks with innovative alternatives to 2-ply.