As COVID-19 makes its way into major cities and small suburbs across the nation, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to remain calm and not panic. As a Wedding Officiant, I know first hand that while couples planning their weddings over the next few months are stressing out, we ALL need to try to find calm and peace as we work together to combat this pandemic.
We have been told by authorities to say in our homes in order to prevent spread, but that does not mean that we should go crazy inside and solely focus our attention on what is happening with world outside. Try to limit how much news you watch, especially some of the overhyped reporting that only propagates fear and anxiety. First and foremost, get updates and facts from reliable sources, and then focus your attention elsewhere.
You can avoid contact with other people and wash your hands more carefully, but your ability to remain calm comes from within. That means you’ll have to take the necessary steps in reducing your stress and anxiety and promoting calmness while the virus runs its course. So to help you, I’d like to go over three of the best ways that you can stay calm and centered in these stressful times.
Meditation & Mindfulness
So, you’re anxious and stressed as a result of the rapid spread of Coronavirus. If you’ve never attempted meditation or any mindfulness techniques in the past, this is the perfect time to try them out and get some practice under your belt.
According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation can play a huge role in helping you to maintain your mental and emotional health, even benefiting aspects of your physical health. Here’s what meditation can do for you.
- Greater outlook on life (positivity)
- Increased feelings of calmness
- Greater self-awareness
- Reduced levels of anxiety and stress.
- Improved focus
The best part is: There are plenty of different types of meditation.
If you’re able to focus for long periods of time, you might want to try out guided meditations or visualization techniques. When you’re looking to stay more active while you’re quarantined, you can give yoga or Pilates a go! If you’d like more information on how to practice mindfulness, I’ve got a tone of resources that can help. I even have a website where you can start learning more about this method. HowToPracticeMindfulness.org
Finding a Creative Outlet
You might be stuck in the house for the next few weeks, or maybe even months. but that doesn’t mean you have to resort to going stir crazy. In fact, that’ll probably only increase your feelings of panic during such trying times!
This is a great time to try out some new (or old) creative hobbies. When you’re focused on building or creating something new, you’re reducing the amount of focus on the negativity surrounding you. That means creativity is a solid way of helping you to relax.
A creative outlet can be almost anything. Here are a few things you might want to try out (if you have the supplies in your home).
- Painting, coloring, or drawing
- Singing or playing musical instruments
- Taking photos or videos of things you enjoy
- Building something with things lying around the house
- Reading something and then writing an essay about it (yes, remember English 101 class?). This is a great way to take your mind off the world’s troubles.
With regard to reading, I personally can’t sit still long enough to read an entire book and I have a lot books I’d like to read. But I found a cool tool that I found that is helping me with my reading by covering the basic concepts of the books I’m interested in reading. You can learn more about it here.
Basically, the goal here is to find an activity or task that requires an intense amount of focus and makes you happy. You won’t even notice that you spent the last hour drawing your favorite cartoon character. 🙂
Giving Back & Helping Others
It’s completely natural to be fearful of the unknown but giving back to others can help you to tackle this fear once and for all. When you’re giving back to the community or helping those in need, you’ll be working to spread compassion and happiness rather than fear and anxiety.
With so many people sick or self-quarantined, most people aren’t permitted to leave the home. However, these individuals do still have needs that they now can’t meet on their own.
If you’re not under a Stay a Home order, and as long as you’re keeping your distance and not exposing anyone to the virus, you can deliver food and groceries or do things like their yard work. It’ll make you feel good about yourself while also helping those who need it! If you are under a Stay at Home order, call your neighbors and chat with them. Ask them how they are doing, post something positive on your Facebook, Instagram or Nextdoor sites, etc. Spread love and compassion to those around you and around the world. Everyone in every corner of this Earth needs your compassion and support.
You can’t do anything yourself when it comes to curing COVID-19, but there are things you can do to slow down the spread of the virus. There are also things that can reduce your panic and invoke an overwhelming sense of calmness.
By taking advantage of mindfulness, looking for a creative outlet, and even giving back, you’ll be able to stay calm and centered, even now!