“We choose if we want to feel trapped, lonely, panicked; we can also choose to perceive the situation as a great opportunity to readjust ourselves.”
By Bibiana Rueda-Bueno
The recent outbreak of coronavirus and its huge impact has starkly highlighted the dangers to our health, and gave rise to feelings of uncertainty, anxiety and sometimes fear.
Right now, more than ever, we need to keep in mind that our mental health is very important to cope with such a situation and to create a balanced and harmonious reality. I want to share with you some ideas that you can keep in mind to navigate such uncertain periods, prioritizing your mental health overall.
Be aware of your emotions. Emotions are the way we connect and disconnect from reality, situations and people, so there is no shame in feeling anxious, overwhelmed, sad, angry or hopeless, it is a normal reaction in this type of uncertain situations. Allow yourself to feel the feeling, find healthy ways to legitimize the feeling like journaling, meditation, talking to someone, exercising and so on. Be mindful that it is just a feeling and needs to be processed; if the sensation remains for longer, I would recommend you to talk to a specialist about it, sometimes moments of crisis can trigger trapped emotions, patterns or symptoms, so be vigilant and check your emotions daily.
Have a routine. Create a daily routine, focus your energy onto achieving specific things on a daily basis; it could go from organizing your computer’s files to cleaning your house, writing, reading, trying new recipes, etc. Focusing our energy on any achievement is a great way to keep the serotonin working.
Follow the preventive measures. I know how annoying it can be to have to report about your travels, have your temperature checked on a daily basis, plus the need to wear a mask non-stop and in some cases undergo preventive isolation. None of us enjoy these things, but keep in mind that it is for you, for me and for all of us, when you follow the measures you are contributing to your own heath and also to the health of your neighbors, family and colleagues. The spread of a virus is something that we cannot change, but following the measures can have a huge impact on our environment.
Be active! There are plenty of ways to keep ourselves active. You can use apps to learn new things or play games. There are many yoga studios ad gyms in shanghai offering online classes. Moreover, you can spend more time studying essential oils. They are truly great in enhancing immunity and boosting mood.
Read news from trustworthy sources. Don’t overwhelm your mind by reading every single article from every single WeChat group. Rather focus on facts, don’t read perceptions, opinions and “what if” type of information; also don’t spend all your days reading about it, which can become your main task during the day and it will create unnecessary anxiety and panic.
Embrace uncertainty. Yes, it is an uncertain time, from our personal aspect to our healthcare and financial situation. Such a situation can be challenging for many of us, but worrying, overthinking and imagining the worst-case scenarios will not solve anything, nor will it create a healthy atmosphere at all. Embrace the situation as it is, be grateful for your health and focus only on things you can change.
Connect with people. Connect with friends, colleagues or acquaintances, visit them and if you can’t or feel is unsafe, plan video chats, share recipes, experiences and have a good chill moment with them. We need social connection to feel nurtured and motivated. You are not alone.
Dive into yourself. By thought alone we can create our future and generate a huge impact on our daily life. Believe it or not, this can be a great opportunity to really deal with and face our deepest fears and negative thoughts. This is a great test and a unique moment to reflect on our real priorities, challenges and dreams; you can use your time to subscribe to a free course on mindfulness, do online therapy, read that book that can change your perception and in general focus your energy on shifting those thoughts that are no longer serving you.
Your perception is your choice. Remember that it is up to you on how you’re going to perceive such a unique situation. There are facts of course, but there are also hundreds of interpretations, and it is us who chooses if we want to feel trapped, lonely, panicked and so on. We can also choose to perceive the situation as a great opportunity to readjust ourselves, learn about our emotional reactions and boost our energetic level.