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Focus On What You Can Control {COVID-19 Response}

So much is changing by the hour! With school closures, job layoffs, businesses shutting their doors, this can add some uncertainty and leave some people feeling hopeless and frightened.

The media and marketers can play on our fears and lead you to feel fearful and panic.

We can take the basic precautionary measures you have heard over a zillion times (wash your hands frequently, don’t cough over others, maybe even keep your social distance of 6 feet).

We can release FEAR because it does impact your immune system by releasing cortisol. Cortisol is an immunosuppressant and can down regulate inflammatory factors. Simply said it WEAKENS YOUR immune response and leaves your system more vulnerable to infection.

So let’s focus on what we can change:

#1 This Too Shall Pass. Nothing lasts forever and neither will this. It's fairly normal for people to experience some stress, anxiety and even depression when something of this magnitude impacts your daily routine. So remember this too shall pass and do all you can to reduce the risk of infection. For some that may be social distance, extended hygiene practices like washing your hands more frequently (for at least 20-30 seconds), wiping down common areas, cough on your sleeve etc.

#2 Positive Connections! You may be tempted to avoid everyone but that can be detrimental to your overall well being and health. So stay connected with people that are not going bonkers or calling you or texting you with the latest gloom and doom. So take the time with a simple phone call, video chat (we do this in our office) or text to reach out.

#3 Be Mindful. This is probably my favorite because when we feel like life is out of control, it’s an opportunity to go connect with our higher power (God) for peace and tranquility. Some times even cleaning out your closet, organizing the garage, pantry or clean out your email in box can be a good distraction and help you focus on one thing like being present in the moment. Some other awesome ways are meditation, breathing exercises, gratitude or writing in a gratitude journal upon awakening and before bedtime.

#4 Have FUN! We often get so caught up in life and forget to have fun, laugh and play. When you have fun and laugh you tend to flip the switch on your nervous system to a parasympathetic state, which allows your body to turn on creativity and experience a more relaxed state. Try something different like painting or learn how to play an instrument or coloring (there are adult coloring books).

#5 Media Diet. Go on a media diet just like you would go on a low carb diet. Yep keep it to a minimal. If you are switching from channel to channel or going to facebook, instagram then twitter, then maybe cutting down by 90%, keep it to 5 minutes in the morning, mid day and early evening. Yes, its important to be informed but don’t go overboard and have your television turned on to the news every waking hour.


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