We are currently in a situation that nobody of us has been in before. It’s a time of uncertainty, fear, panic, even hysteria sometimes. And we can’t really ask anybody for help. Scientists do their best to figure out how the coronavirus works and how to approach it best but as of now, there is no definite answer. It’s scary!
It is very easy to lose your calm and let anxiety take over. Don’t get me wrong, anxiety in itself is not a bad thing. It can actually be very helpful. Feeling anxious is simply an indicator of caring about something, of something being very important to us. So we don’t want to eliminate this feeling altogether.
But the level of anxiety we are experiencing right now in the world is not healthy!
So today I want to give you three actionable steps you can apply and implement right away to ease your anxiety:
(If you rather want to watch the video, click here)
- Start with the facts
What do we know? In times like this, there are always conspiracy theories out there, the media hypes everything up and the worst-case-scenario becomes the agreed-upon norm. But let’s see what we actually know.
We know we are dealing with a virus. Viruses get transmitted via droplets (sneezing, coughing, etc). What you can do to stay safe is, stay away from other people and keep your distance, wash your hands, don’t touch your face and make sure you keep our environment clean. That’s the best thing you can do. If you follow these rules, most likely you’ll be fine.
2. Shift your focus
A big part of staying calm is focusing our energy. There is a saying: Where focus goes, energy flows. Let me give you an example.
Let’s say you want to buy a Mercedes S-Class. And all of a sudden, you see the specific model you want everywhere. The number of Mercedeses on the street didn’t all of a sudden double overnight, it’s your focus that shifted. Once you focus on something, your energy follows.
What is happening right now is that we all focus on the negative. The media will show you that the death toll tripled overnight, the cases are rising, New York is the epicenter, the economy is collapsing. Nobody talks about all the people who recovered, nobody talks about the fact that most cases are very mild and don’t need any treatment at all, nobody mentions that other countries are already back on their way to normal. You don’t see that. What we see is the catastrophe, the end of the world scenario.
Let’s change that!! I challenge you! 😉
First, I want you to rate your anxiety on a scale from 1-10. 1 = I am super-duper calm and not affected at all by this. 10 = I will probably kill the next person who sneezes at me. Where are you on that scale? Write it down.
Now, for the rest of today and tomorrow, don’t watch the news. As soon as Breaking News comes on, switch the channel. Turn the TV off for the regular 6 o’clock news. Scroll through your social media without paying attention to any corona articles. Instead, practice self-care. You can spend quality time with family, you can cook together, you can take on an arts and crafts project, you can read a book, you can take a hot bath with a glass of champagne. Whatever it is that makes you happy.
The next step is being grateful for what you have right now. Most of us have more time with our families than we had before. We have more time to take care of ourselves. Be grateful for that! And tomorrow night, you rate your level of anxiety on a scale from 1 to 10 again and see where you’re at. And I guarantee you, you will see a difference. You will be a lot calmer.
3. Fuel your body and be active
When you are in a constant state of fear and worry, it is very easy to let your guard down and fall into the trap of emotional eating, of snacking mindlessly in front of the TV, and neglecting your overall health and fitness.
That makes it even more important to do the exact opposite! With all the added stress your cortisol levels are most likely at an all-time high and your whole hormonal system is out of whack.
Fuel your body!! Your body’s needs for micronutrients – vitamins and minerals – are higher than usual during this time. Your body needs Omega-3 fatty acids to protect the nervous system, it needs vitamin C to boost the immune system, and so much more. Make sure you give it everything it needs!
And be active. Being active not only balances your hormones, it also makes you happier which in return makes it easier to deal with stress. Don’t overdo it though. Vigorous exercise adds more stress to our system. If you are feeling very anxious and frustrated right now, ditch the high-intensity workouts and focus on moderate activities instead. A nice walk, a short 30 min workout, or even a yoga session will help you regain energy and focus on the positive.
Implementing these steps won’t solve our current situation but it will make it easier to handle the anxiety and uncertainty that comes with it. Stay strong and be safe! We will get through this!