Eva Ritvo, MD's Tips For Coping During the COVID-19 Crisis
By: Patrice Samara
Make sure you are getting enough current information to stay safe and follow the health and safety advice of experts and medical professionals. Then turn off the news. Follow the same advice for financial worries.
Tend to yourself first! Make sure you are getting enough rest. If you are not sleeping through the night, try to address this issue as sleep is the base of the wellness pyramid.
Eat well. Eat fruits and vegetables in a balanced fashion. Avoid empty calories as eating should be a way of nourishing ourselves. Virtually talk to your doctor about vitamins or other supplements. Stay properly hydrated.
Eliminate or keep alcohol to a minimum.
Exercise. Although for most of us, we can't work out the way we used to, it's critical to find safe alternatives. Use YouTube and Instagram to help you find ways of staying fit in your own home. Ask friends for tips and consider sharing work out time with friends via Zoom or FaceTime.
Social distancing is important for your health. Social connection is important, too. Reach out to friends, family and your community. Use this time to tell people how important they are to you. Many are finding comfort using FaceTime and similar means. Companies are setting up Zoom meetings and people are connecting in many creative ways.
Emote. It is necessary to let your feeling out alone or with a friend, family member or professional. A wide variety of feelings are coming up for people now and they shift throughout the day. Many therapists are available for online consultation.
Be kind. When we help others, we also help ourselves. Help a neighbor or friend but maintaining everyone's safety as a top priority.
Donate wisely to a nonprofit organization. Use Charity Navigator to guide you. Consider Global Giving and Relief International
Limit the number of people you interact with that will distress you. Emotions are contagious and right now fear is rampant.
Meditate. You can begin very simply with apps like HeadSpace or Calm. Check out Five-Minute Meditation on YouTube.
Secrete Oxytocin. It's known as the "cuddle hormone" or the "love hormone" because it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially. Humans are designed to connect via touch so being apart is unnatural. You can simulate touch by wrapping yourself in a warm blanket or taking a bath or shower. Hugging a pet has the same effect.
Clean and organize your home. We can counteract our distress over our loss of control by straightening up what we can. Completing tasks gives your brain a boost of dopamine so even simple tasks like emptying a dishwasher or folding laundry can give us a quick boost.
Create new routines. For example, stick to the same bedtime and waking-up time. Work out at the same time each day. Try to be productive during certain hours and relax at other times.
Engage in positive activities. Read a book. Listen to soft music. Dim the lights. Watch the sunset or be in nature if you can do so safely. Watch a TedTalk. Brush up on a foreign language. Take a deep breath. Start a journal. Puzzles, games, cooking, magazines, and humor all provide a much-needed respite from the stress.
Think about and express gratitude. Even in these most challenging times, we must focus on what we are grateful for. Express gratitude to those around you and virtually reach out to others. It will lift their mood, as well.
Avoid big decisions. Right now, your thinking might not be the clearest due to the excess cortisol.
Try to stay away from conflict with others. Think before you speak. We need one another now more than ever.
Reflect. We are collectively experiencing a very usual time in world history as our daily lives came to a sudden halt and we face our own vulnerability. Are we treating ourselves, one another and our planet with enough kindness and compassion? What can we learn from the challenges of the Coronavirus?
Patrice Samara - Triumph Communications Group
Page Updated Last on: Apr 20, 2020