by Robin mcgraw
Stay strong Secret Squad, you are not alone! As humans, we aren’t wired to endure uncertainty, and these are extremely uncertain times! With the endless stream of news updates, ever-shifting predictions of what to expect next, feeling isolated at home during this pandemic can come with unparalleled anxiety, fear and worry. Though heightened concern is only natural, we can all implement healthy approaches to manage it. Everyone reacts to stressful situations differently, but it’s how you respond that can mean a world of difference.
Please remember to take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about Coronavirus constantly can be distressing. Repeatedly checking the news may feel like a way of staying in control of things, but it can intensify anxiety. Make sure you get your information and advice from only the very best sources. There is an obvious temptation to seek out information all the time, but the steady stream can go from powerful knowledge to terrifying barrage before you know it.
Talk to your children and grandchildren about what’s going on but try to think about only communicating what they really need to know in order to understand the changes they’re seeing. Use age-appropriate language and don’t over-share. Discuss healthy behaviors we can all practice that protect us from becoming sick. Try to limit news-viewing to the hours after the kids are in bed.
Many of us are working from home now which makes it extra important to make time to unwind and try to do some other activities you enjoy. Connect with others. Maintaining our bonds with the people we love is a critical part of self-care right now. We are privileged to have technology that allows us to connect without exposing anyone to risk. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, practice yoga or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals and exercise regularly. It’s ok to get outside for a walk and a breath of fresh air! Just be mindful of staying the appropriate distance from others while you’re out. Get plenty of sleep and don’t forget to stay hydrated!
While staying home sounds simple, just “Netflix and chill” right? It’s not as easy as it sounds. If you’re unable to work from home, and especially if you live alone, keeping yourself busy or at least distracted during self-isolation is important. Journal, create art, deep clean your kitchen, explore new recipes, work in your garden, take up an instrument or write letters to residents in a nearby nursing home. Get creative! There are also so many incredible companies providing online classes and tutorials for free that you can take advantage of right now!
For some, simply staying home is a big risk itself. If you are co-quarantined with an abuser, or worried about self-isolating because your home situation is dangerous, please seek help and protect yourself. Reach out via the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 or visit www.whengeorgiasmiled.org/get-help to download the Aspire News App and access resources.
This is one of those occasions that brings out the best or the worst in people. I choose to focus my energy on what I’m grateful for, rather than what I’m fearful of and holding my family and friends closer to my heart than ever, even if it’s just over FaceTime for now. Hang in there, buy the choco