A lot has changed over the past month. While there are some of us who are more fortunate and can maintain a relatively “normal” lifestyle through current times, there are some of us who have had our entire lives turned upside down.
Anxiety comes in many different forms and intensities, with no one-size-fits-all solution or appearance it is important to stay generous and kind, especially now. People we come into contact with through working from home, maybe having a hard time coping with the current world than they are giving off.
Here are 10 tips to help you and, through passing this on, help others, too.
Anxiety is its own contagion… Little acts of kindness can break its chain. Make an effort to make someone else feel better, and by doing so you will find yourself feeling better.
The act does not have to be anything monstrous or crazy, simply acknowledging why you value a coworker’s opinions or talents is enough. Calling a relative you have not talked to within some time to see how they are coping and look back on easier times together is enough.
Some other ways to be generous today:
- Donate money to a local food bank
- Check-in on a vulnerable neighbour
- Don’t buy all the hand sanitizer on the shelf (and if you have done this, maybe donate some to others in need)
2. Find the light.
If you think you might have the virus or actually have it and you’re in “self-isolation” – global word of the year – sit by the window and soak in some sunlight. Look at the fat little birds in your trees that won’t stop chirping (just me?).
If you are not self-isolating, step outside and face the sun and soak in its warmth.
While all the hand sanitizer for the hands might be gone, natural sunlight is the sanitizer of a dark, gloomy soul.
3. Read the news, sparingly.
Staying informed of the situation and what is happening in your community and province is good! Keep doing that, but maybe take a step back from it and limit yourself to an allotted news window.
For myself, I get my fill of news when I finish my workday and settle into supper. I find this time to work for me because I am able to talk the news through with my partner and we are able to have conversations about the news – instead of me reading the news all by myself and feeling as though I really am isolated. If you do not have someone to converse with in-person, phone a friend or family member to talk it through with one another – a great way of staying in contact and showing some generosity, too!
4. Fact check your information.
This has been an issue that has been coming about more frequently in the last while. The “fake news” phenomenon.
It is important to fact-check the news you are reading before you fully absorb it. Try to limit your news outlets to notably reliable sources: Government, CDC, Ministers of Health, etc. These sources will not lie to you or give you partial truths.
5. Are you mad? Or are you anxious?
When you find yourself really mad or upset with someone you care about or a friend or coworker, ask yourself, “Am I really mad at this person? Or is this just coronavirus anxiety talking?”
Not only is this a good skill to apply in normal life situations, but it is also an immensely valuable skill today.
Simply by asking yourself this question you may be able to calm down enough to realize how tangled your interpersonal (or work) anxieties really are with the anxieties of this virus.
6. Inhale. Exhale.
Really just breathe. It helps. Exercise, meditation, do some yoga, take a walk, get some fresh air – even if that means simply opening a window. Take deep, slow conscious breaths to regulate your emotions and relax your body and mind.
7. Don’t isolate yourself in self-isolation.
If you’re working from home, staying inside because you’re sick, or staying inside to better protect yourself, stay connected with your friends and family through your phone or computer. Isolation can be anxiety’s partner in crime.
Repeat this word multiple times a day: perspective.
This is not the first or the worst and it certainly will not be the last crisis in the history of humanity. Any crisis, by revealing systemic shortcomings in the ability to handle it, can lead to improvements.
Maintain a sense of perspective through all of this and all that you read.
Even if you do not feel like laughing, LAUGH! Laugh until your sides hurt. Laughter is the best medicine for uplifting your spirits.
If you are having a hard time forcing a laugh or doing it naturally, try some of these to jump start your giggle:
- Watch a comedy movie
- Listen to a comedian
- Get into a tickle “fight” with your family members
- Think back to times in your life when you had the hardest laughs, reliving those memories might help you laugh a little
10. Think spring.
It is just around the corner, difficult to believe or not. Daylight is already longer and the birds are chirping more than ever (let me tell you). Soon we will start to see the snow melt away for good, the grass green up, flowers bloom and trees start to grow leaves.
Be grateful. Be Generous. Breathe deeply. Laugh often.
Spring is coming.