Whether you’re watching the news, work in public spaces, or have been to the grocery store lately, it is no secret that COVID-19 is here, and it can feel overwhelming. We need to take necessary measures to ensure our physical safety and/or prevention of this illness while also maintaining our emotional and psychological wellbeing.
Below is a list of considerations and preventable measures for everyone:
1. 72 hours: According to GetPrepared.gov in Canada, individuals and their families should prepare to face a range of emergencies anywhere—anytime. More importantly, consider having enough supplies to work through 72 hours. What does this look like for your family? Are there certain foods you need to buy? What about medications? Have you spoken to your doctor regarding prescription medication? Do you have a list of contacts you can reach if you need support mentally, emotionally, or physically?
2. Breathe: I know it is worrisome and it doesn’t make it easier when it is the topic of conversation everywhere we go, but what we really need to do is to breathe. Panicking never helped anyone. Stop and take deep belly breaths (a minimum of 3), focusing on inhaling and exhaling deeply. Closing your eyes and visualizing your belly rising and expanding with each inhale and falling which each exhale can also help to calm you down when things start to feel overwhelming.
3. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Try not to touch your face. Cough and sneeze into your sleeve and not your hands. Become aware of how you interact with people and your environment. Use hand sanitizer with a minimum of 70% alcohol if soap and water is not available.
4. This is a time to help others if we can and follow the rules of social distancing. If you can afford to, stay home, cancel your travel plans, share your wealth, and support those who are struggling in ways that are beyond the physical. Many people’s lives are being impacted in ways that go beyond basic needs. Stay in touch with folks in any measure that you can and check in on those who need checking in on. Keep a good physical distance from others but remember physical isn’t social distance–lean on your friends and community in other ways to still stay connected with others (i.e. on the phone, video calls, over social media).
5. Get creative. Read a book. Take a breath. Take care of yourself. Do the things you’ve been meaning to do and get out of your head. Maybe this isn’t the time for seeing the world, but it is a time to cultivate your inner world. How often do we, as a society, get this break? We go, go, go and this is asking us to pause, sit back, and let the dust settle. Take your energy and redirect it towards self-care practices.
6. Believe in yourself and others. We are an incredible, resilient, brave, thoughtful, strong, global community. Look for the nuggets of goodness around us all, because they are there. Be grateful for the positive things in your life as well as the good works of others. We have survived untold things and we will continue to do just that.
Social Media handles: Instagram @rennierewilds and @d.colleenrennie
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