As we write this, 26,000 people have lost their lives to COVID-19. The health uncertainty mirrors the economic upheaval; more than 16 million Americans filed for unemployment in the period between mid-March and mid-April. It’s unprecedented and undeniably frightening for most of us. How can you find any balance when it seems like the world is falling apart?
Tips for Finding Balance During COVID-19
You can find a way to manage your stress during the pandemic. A doctor from healthcare industry leader Johns Hopkins Medicine has some tips for Americans who are struggling to cope in this difficult time:
- First, get information from reputable news sources. That doesn’t necessarily include your Facebook feed these days. Instead, look to reputable new outlets or the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to get scientifically accurate details of what is going on. Understanding what is happening can help you cope with something that seems out of your control.
- Limit your information to a measurable time period each day. Try to find times during the day where you check the headlines, but do it in a measured way and don’t obsess. Turn off the TV, turn the channel away, or generally go offline from news of the coronavirus so that your mind can take a break from all the worry.
- Talk to your children about the virus. Don’t dismiss their worries, but do seek to reassure them that we will get through this. It’s an extremely troubling time for everyone, and your kids will pick up on the uncertainty that the adults are feeling. Listen to their fears and then give them accurate information on things they can control, like how to wash their hands or other practical solutions to help keep them safe.
- Practice prevention techniques with your family. Teach your children about social distancing outside the home. Also, keep basic routines intact, such as mealtimes or playtime.
- Be mindful whenever possible. Stress harms the immune system, so adults should lessen their worries by actively working to lower stress. For example, try sitting quietly for 10-minutes every day as a baseline for a healthy mental attitude. Mindfulness seeks to eliminate future worries and focus on the present. Breathe in and out and pay attention to your surroundings without worrying about what’s ahead or behind you.
The Cleveland Clinic also published an article on how Americans can cope during this trying time. Their five best tips include:
- Exercise regularly by walking, biking, hiking, or just playing with your kids or pets. Physical activity releases endorphins, a feel-good brain chemical that will help lessen your anxiety.
- Eat healthier. It will be tempting to resort to processed or comfort foods when you are stressed. But you will feel better if you eat lots of fruits and vegetables and avoid too much salt, sugar, or fried foods.
- Take a break from the latest news by unplugging to read a book or go outside.
- Connect with your friends and family on the phone or a videoconference.
- Get more sleep and rest. Avoid stimulants and electronic devices before you go to bed and try to get the allotted required sleep to maintain your health.
IES is here for you during this challenging time. If you’ve lost your job due to COVID-19, please contact us. We can help.