I was listening to the news report last week regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The report said that the most vulnerable of the population are the elderly. The report suggested that anyone over 75 should be very careful. They went on to say that all over the age of 60 should take extra health precautions. It struck me in that minute - I'm in that group! I'm healthy - I work out, I ride my bike, I play with grandchildren and take walks regularly but yes - I'm over 60! So - is it time for me to panic?
Absolutely NOT. I am in the business of helping people to minimize things that are really not as big a deal as they may think. Many of us deal with stress that can certainly increase our anxiety to great levels. I enjoy helping people to find balance and to put things into healthy perspectives. That being said, we must still take care of ourselves and take this threat very seriously. We must work - as we always should - to keep ourselves healthy and safe.
Let's look at some ways that we can do this. I would suggest that we keep ourselves informed. There are many "stories" going around on social media and even on all networks. It can be very confusing. I will be listening to the science in this case. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the WHO (World Health Organization) are 2 groups that can give up to date and accurate information. This is their job. This is science. When in doubt contact your physician. They are here to help.
Next - follow the suggested guidelines. It is true - none of us want to lose our jobs, our wages, etc. However, although this is not what I want - it will be ok. We need to stay healthy and do what we can to keep others healthy/safe as well. We are so lucky to have the ability to use electronics in a good way.
Stay active. Right now in Michigan it appears that spring is coming! It is ok to get outside and go for a walk. Get outside and ride a bike or go for a jog or walk your dog. We do not need to meet in a large group but get some fresh air. When the weather does not cooperate, do some yoga at home. Youtube has many good yoga and exercise videos. Many of the gyms are posting home exercise programs. A friend has posted a wonderful mindfulness exercise on youtube - click on the link below.
Stay connected. We are so lucky to have video calls, skype and other ways to stay connected to family and friends. Check on your family regularly - it will reduce stress and make you feel a part of a group. Call your older neighbor. It is important to not only stay connected but to help those who may not be able to get out for their grocery and medication needs.
Stay busy and keep productive. This is an opportunity for us to clean that closet that we haven't gotten to. It is a time to scrapbook, play the piano or guitar or even to learn a new skill. Some colleges are offering free "classes" to those who want to learn about almost any subject. Do something that you have always thought you might want to try. Be creative in order to occupy your mind as well as your body. Here is a link to some possible activities as well as examples of what others have done to keep occupied and connected during this time:
Most of all remember to look at this time as an opportunity. It is an opportunity to learn, to take care of yourself and to even learn a little bit about yourself once again. No one asked for this crisis. No one is saying that this is good. However, good can come out of crisis. Good is there if we only look for it.