Coping with stress and fear during Coronavirus

Coping with stress and fear during Coronavirus

We speak to patients on a daily basis about how they are feeling and how they are managing. For many, an appointment is not something they feel comfortable making at the moment so we wanted to take the time to share information that may help.

Firstly – it’s okay to feel however you are feeling. It’s normal. There is no right and no wrong.

It’s important to remember that you are in a herd of 7.7 billion people that is finally united emotionally for the first time in history.

If you are scared about what’s happening, here are a few things you can do.

To begin, let’s help you understand stress and worry.

When the future seems uncertain the body responds by producing more adrenaline and other chemicals that make you feel alert and awake. This response is the body’s way of improving your problem solving abilities. If you can’t solve the uncertainty, the stress chemicals keep being produced and can interfere with your enjoyment of life. Here are some ways to use your body and mind to restore some calm.

Be corona-informed

Avoid emotionally negative and sensational information. The virus is just a bunch of chemicals. Its not alive. If it is allowed to come into contact with certain types of living cells (for coronavirus the respiratory tract cells are preferred) it may take over that cell and use it to multiply itself. When that happens, the body goes into action to get rid of it and it’s that response that make up the symptoms of an infection. The cough and temperature is actually signs of the body’s response to clear your body of the virus. Some of the time, we don’t even feel the body doing this work.

Focus on facts

Focusing on uncertainty is frightening, focusing on positive facts is comforting.

  • It’s a fact that the top scientists in the world are all working, like never before in history, to find solutions.
  • It’s a fact that there will be a solution one way or the other.
  • It’s a fact that the measures we all hear about help to reduce the impact of the virus. In fact, it’s just a matter of time.
  • It’s a fact after the virus is defeated, we will be better informed for the future.

Thank you scientists.

Exercise

Your body releases happy chemicals when you exercise. There are plenty of ways you can exercise even if you are not able to go outdoors. For most, there is finally plenty of time to focus on building this habit. The body’s response to a healthy type of exercise is to make you feel happy so you will do it again. Exercise comes in many forms – find the one you enjoy most and start there. Currently there are many live-feed fitness programs available, many of them are free, so you can not only exercise but feel connected to other people as well. This is often a motivator in itself.

Thank you body.

Meditate

This is the best time to finally build the habit of calming the mind. The aim of meditation is not just to calm your brain. Meditation aims to give you calmness, clarity and creativity. When the brain is allowed to be silent, it processes information without the hindrance of emotions. Meditation doesn’t change the future but it improves your responses to an uncertain future.

Thank you mind.

Bonus tips:

  • Have a goal to develop a new skill, knowledge or habit in the next few months.
  • Catch anxious feelings and thoughts and switch your attention to helpful thoughts.
  • Distract yourself from your own mind and worries by helping others. Giving to others makes you happy. This can be in physical and psychological ways.
  • Boost your immune system – eat well, drink plenty of water, get good quality sleep, exercise.
  • Keep a daily routine with small, achievable goals – don’t look too far into the future.
  • Look for the bright side and happy moments each day. A positive mindset goes a long way.
  • Keep in touch with people – phone, video chat, email – staying connected is important.
  • Remember everything is temporary and humans are fantastic at adapting.