The Corona virus has caused a panic that has been unparalleled in recent years. Lack of food on the grocery store shelves, rationing, quarantines, school and business closures, job losses, and travel restrictions have suddenly become the new normal.
There’s a lot fear involved in such huge changes. People respond in different ways. Some remain calm and steadfast in their reliance on God, some struggle with depression and anxiety, and others resort to crime. One of my friends saw someone filling up a Mason jar with hand sanitizer from the dispenser at the hospital. Another person was stealing disinfectant wipes. (Yes, from a hospital!)
Still others fear daily how they will cope with the never-ending media hitting us from all directions.
Today when we made a grocery store run, we noticed that the store shelves were becoming bare with some aisles having no food/supplies at all. The panic we are facing has escalated into bizarre proportions. I get that this can be a deadly virus (my daughter and I had a severe case of influenza in January. That illness was the sickest I have ever been besides a high-risk pregnancy that landed me in the hospital with Hyperemesis gravidarum and pneumonia). I understand that this is a scary virus and I certainly don’t want anyone in my family or myself to get it, especially since several in my family are immune-compromised. However, it’s causing so much undue panic that is spiraling down into every area of our lives. So what can we do in the midst of all this craziness?
1. Pray. Pray for the health and safety of your family and friends. For wisdom for our leaders. For the eradication of this virus. For calm in the face of panic.
2. Eat healthy. (No one does it perfectly. Do the best you can). Strive for healthy snacks that have long shelf lives, such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds, and air-popped popcorn.
3. Get outside! Vitamin D is good for the immune system and fresh air is an added bonus.
4. Stay hydrated.
5. Keep your stress levels down. Yes, make sure you are staying up-to-date with the current happenings, but limit your exposure to the media. It can be toxic.
6. Put others above yourself. Know an elderly neighbor or someone who has an underlying health issue who may not be able to get out to purchase needed items? Help them out by offering to make a grocery run.
7. Get some exercise*. Studies have shown that exercise is an immune system builder. This can easily be done at home. Some suggestions? Jumproping, walking throughout your house (including going up and down the stairs), lifting some weights (bottles of water work great if you don’t have dumbbells), dancing to your favorite music, playing tag (or hide and seek!) with your kids, or heading outside (if you are able) for a walk, job, or bike ride. A chiropractor friend of mine also notes that getting adjusted can help your immune system.
8. Stay busy. If your job has asked you to work from home, you’ve been quarantined, or you are “socially distancing” yourself by staying home, be sure to stay busy. Most of us go at a crazy-busy pace. While we should be able to take a deep breath and strive for some relaxation during this stressful time, it’s also important to keep busy and fill your day with productivity. Whether its tackling some clutter, working on that new project you’ve put on the back burner, or immersing yourself in that TBR pile of books, keep your mind and body active.
9. Stay social. Just because you can’t get out as much, doesn’t mean you can’t still fellowship to a degree. Connecting with others is important (and not just for those of us who are extroverts!) If your church has chosen to keep their doors open (and it is safe for you to leave your home) be sure to attend. If you are homebound or trying to stay home more, call someone. That special someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile would love to hear from you.
10. Most importantly? Lean on the Lord. Corona virus did not catch Him unaware. Give your anxieties and fears to Him. He loves and cares about you more than you can ever fathom.
*Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.