Many of us are surrounded by anxiety. What will happen to me or my loved ones? When is this all going to be over? Will my business survive? Will I lose all my money?
I am in the same boat with all these concerns, yet my advice is: focus on health and what is good now, not on fear and what might happen in the future. Do all necessary, preventive measures you can today, but have faith that we will make it together.
As I have stated so many times before, stress can make you sick: stressful situation activates sympathetic nervous system and releases stress hormones (e.g. cortisol) which can make you more prepared in that given situation, but at the same time stress hormones practically shut down many of the vital functions of the body: stress inhibits digestive activity and activity of intestines, for example.
In the long run, when no time is given to recover from the stress, your body no longer has the tools to maintain its functions and immune systems get weaker – and eventually you get sick. According to statistics, up to 90–95 % of all illnesses are caused by stress.
Like so many the people who understand the impact stress, I also believe that stress can be deadlier than any virus itself. Having said that, I am not saying corona should be taken lightly. What I am saying is that instead of playing only with the fear card, focus could be on health while making efforts needed to stay healthy.
Corona – the Best Free Card Ever?
There is also a silver lining to the situation to which I’m keen on holding to. For the ones whose calendar has been emptied, life has thrown a free card and given something we all take for granted: time.
Now we have time to spend on things we simply enjoy, without the need to accomplish something.
Now we have time to do stuff we would normally either postpone or would not otherwise find time to do, because we are too “busy”, which – by the way – is often just a lousy excuse for choosing one thing instead of the other.
Time is the most valuable thing you can ever give to your loved ones, to your friends and family. So be there for them – at least from a distance. Hear them, see them, be there for them. Be grateful for having them there, as nothing in life is permanent and can’t be taken for granted. Choose to have joy for having them with you TODAY (instead of fearing about losing them tomorrow).
Be Present to Yourself…
Now would also be the most perfect time to listen your inner voice and ask yourself ‘How are you doing?’. Take time to recover the way most suitable for you. For me reading or cleaning up the closets work perfectly.
The best possible way to reduce stress overloaded and calm down nervous mind is focusing on breathing: it activates the parasympathetic nervous system which, in contrast to sympathetic nervous system, actives all necessary body functions and thus supports recover from stress.
You should also take the opportunity to spend some time in nature, if possible. The healing effect of the silence and nature is a scientifically proven fact. Just be there, wonder around and notice things and sounds around you. You might be surprised of the voice you hear coming from within.
…and Feel the Feelings
Goes without saying that seeing the silver lining does not mean that you should refurbish your mind with only positive stuff and ignore what is happening outside and inside of you. That’s not my point – and actually quite the opposite. Negative emotions and feeling should not be surpressed but be acknowledged. If something needs to be done to treat them, do that “something” – and please ask support if needed.
It is also good to understand that under too heavy stress load your capability to make well-informed decisions is deteriorated. Therefore, by calming yourself down first, you are in a better shape of making rational and more creative decisions.
Today Is All We Have
I know it is easier said than done, but it is possible to learn not to stress about tomorrow as we might not have it. It is also possible to learn not to stress about yesterday as the only thing we can do about it is to learn and grow from the lessons it has given to us.
My sympathies lie with the ones that are going through hard times because of the corona virus. But, I know that me worrying on their behalf won’t save anyone and will only hurt me. Therefore, I choose to to have faith, be calm and peaceful today. I make choices that reduce stress levels and support my wellbeing, and by doing so, I am actually giving my body the strenght will definitely need, should the virus hit me tomorrow. <3
P.S. Special thanks to a dear friend of mine behind the photo Ella Natalie Photography