3 ways to navigate the times and feel better during the COVID-19 pandemic and challenging times

We are experiencing challenging times right now and dealing with a lot of uncertainty.  The coronavirus has hit our country hard and we are still getting updates about this moving bullet that is rapidly infecting our population.  

I spoke with a mentor in Taiwan who had shared that despite the island’s close proximity to China, it has managed to control the spread of the virus with 50 confirmed cases and only 1 death in a population of 23 million.  It was fascinating to hear the quick actions that helped corral the virus in Taiwan and we can definitely learn from this country’s proactivity.

Many countries overseas are mandating quarantines, social distancing and other measures to stop the spread. In our country, as of March 17th, 2020, thirty five states have closed bars, restaurants, movie theaters, fitness centers, gyms and casinos. 

As a service provider in the wellness industry, I’ve reached out to many of my colleagues and who have shared how the have been torn between whether they should close their businesses or keep serving their communities. I myself have struggled with making a decision to keep my business open.  I operate as a small business and am committed to providing stress relief and boosting immunity in my community. I will continue to do so until the government instructs otherwise or I sense a risk. I work one-on-one with clients and have contacted each patient checking in on how I can be of service to them, whether that is allowing short notice cancellation, rescheduling or supporting them with treatment. I’ve released a notice asking patients to reschedule if they have been on a plane or cruise ship in the past two weeks or have been feeling symptoms.

I think about the toll this situation is taking on people mentally, emotionally and spiritually and want to offer three tips to navigate the times and feel better despite what we can’t control:

Tip #1: Take time for self-care. This is a great time to recalibrate what’s important now.  Given the pandemic, boosting immunity and wellness while reducing stress, anxiety, panic and fear are high priorities for keeping yourself healthy.  Many of my patients book regular treatments to maintain health versus waiting to get sick or unless they feel pain.  Even if you plan not to leave your home, there are things you can do to boost your immunity by focusing on improving your gut health, preparing nourishing anti-oxidant rich meals, getting proper rest and trying new exercise regimens either online or in nature.  Get creative and try new projects.  De clutter and find what brings you pleasure.  Take a sip of the angel’s cocktail – endorphins, oxytocin and serotonin – by bringing joy, pleasure and play into your day. Once this pandemic passes, it is important to continue these lifestyle changes to live well and be well.

Tip #2: Practice compassion and create boundaries around empathy. Communicate openly with your employers, clients, friends, family, neighbors.  Even if you are social distancing, you can still pick up the phone.  You can still call someone and check in.  For every hug or handshake we avoid, we need to be reaching out and using our voices and ears to support one another. On the other side of this, be conscious about what you are absorbing.  It is important to protect yourself from taking on the panic, anxiety, fear and stress others are feeling.  I know a colleague who is so sensitive to the collective consciousness that just speaking to her I could feel the heaviness and stress that was weighing her down from holding everyone else up.  

It’s important to be there for others and understand their struggles, but you can’t help someone if you jump into a dark hole with them.  If you feel you are taking on other’s stress, make sure you refer to Tip #1 and carve out self-care to feel better.

Tip #3: Find the light in the situation. Not only is the coronavirus spreading, but there is much widespread panic infecting our communities as well.  Shelves are empty at grocery stores, there are shortages of medical supplies, toilet paper, hand sanitizer and masks. These are all examples of how fear can take over and influence our actions. While you are at home, it is important to take a moment and check in with how you are feeling.  No matter what you’re feeling, it’s important to acknowledge it because I always tell my patients that when we suppress our feelings we eventually over-express them.  For every negative expression, there is a flip side, or healthy expression: from fear we can shift to wisdom and courage, from anger we can transform to compassion, patience, benevolence and patience, from anxiety we can evolve to presence, from worry we can move to trust and from grief we can embody appreciation.

But we can’t just jump from feeling low to feeling better. We need to feel the feels.  Then pivot. Look for the light in the situation.  Ask yourself, what can I learn from this?  What is this moment teaching me?  What do I need to know?  And then, when you can find the light, be it and share it.

“If a man is to shed the light of the sun upon other men, he must first of all have it within himself.” ~Romain Rolland

And remember, as all things, this too shall pass.

Looking for help to move forward through these challenging times? Book a remote transformational coaching session here.