Author: Kayla M. Inman-Little
By now, it's pretty clear the coronavirus, COVID-19 Pandemic has disrupted many aspects of our lives, from work to leisure, travel, our social life, basically everything about our lives have changed in just a few short weeks. As the coronavirus continues to spread, so do anxieties about the COVID-19 Pandemic. For many people, the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus is the hardest thing to handle. We don't know how exactly we will be impacted or how bad things might get.
DEVELOPING YOUR OWN PERSONAL PLAN OF ACTION, STAY UP-TO-DATE AND WELL INFORMED
We each have different reactions to stressful situations and with so much being said about the virus, reliable and accurate knowledge is important. It is important not to let fear take over. Use information from a trusted source like the CDC to do your own research, this way you can develop your own personal plan of action, stay up-to-date and well informed. (link for CDC https://www.cdc.gov/ )
TAKING STEPS IN A MINDFUL WAY TO REDUCE STRESS
Stress can affect your immune system. Ground yourself in the present, practice yoga or try Mindful movement. While walking or sitting, pay close attention to your breathing, your body movements, and your surroundings. Just breathe, Deep breathing resets the central nervous system and helps us respond with a clearer head.
Did you know taking care of yourself, your friends and family can help you cope with stress too? Simply reaching out to those most severely affected by coronavirus can be a big help.
TALKING WITH CHILDREN ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS
Research shows that just being in the presence of a compassionate, safe adult can help kids calm down. As families, we can be "that person" for each other.
For children in general, breaking routine because of a global pandemic can mean confusion, uncertainty and a fear of what's next as much as it can for adults. Kids rely on parents to better understand the coronavirus and calm their worries. Children struggle with tolerating and understanding uncertainty.
To ease some of the anxiety, adults can clearly explain to kids in "child-friendly language". Everyone appreciates feeling they have control over parts of their lives, stay on a schedule, with structure and some flexibility. When your child can wake up and know there are certain parts of their day they can depend on, that can be a source of reducing anxiety and worry.
Talk with your child and ask how they're doing and what emotions they're feeling. Let your child know that they can come to you with questions or worries and get the answer, reassurance and support they need.
CONNECTING WITH YOUR COMMUNITY, WHAT CAN YOU DO?
If you know someone who is elderly and at home, consider checking in. For people older than 60, and those with chronic illness or weakened immune systems, the virus can cause very severe issues. Reach out to them and help with grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, basically anything they may need. Everyone is in the middle of a global pandemic. Staying connected with others through the many virtual tools at our disposal can be key to getting through this outbreak as unscathed as possible. Find your local social media page, reach out to people in your community and see how you can help or if you need help, you can reach out asking people in your community for help.
PROTECTING YOURSELF AND OTHERS
Remember, One of the most important things you can do to help is protect yourself and others. Practicing the CDC's recommended guidance, Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public area or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings and close contact with others. Yes, social distancing is difficult, and against our very nature, however, it is crucial to keep the spread of the virus down and stop the transmission chain.(CDC Link https://www.cdc.gov/
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
Your community will be thankful, whether it's supporting local businesses or giving to organizations to help with costs. Look up your local businesses and not-for-profits online, and find out if there are ways you can still buy from them or donate. Food banks are hit hard You can donate canned or other shelf-stable foods like dried beans and pasta, but check your local food bank's protocols first. Your community will be thankful, whether it's supporting local businesses or giving to organizations to help with costs.
"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."
Need Help? Know Someone Who Does?
Contact the Disaster Distress Helpline