If you’re someone who already deals with anxiety and overwhelm regularly, then the recent news of COVID-19 might have you stressing and freaking out. I know it may be challenging, but it’s important to stay calm and at peace for your own mental/emotional/physical well-being.
With that said, here are some ways to stay calm (by the way, these are techniques that’ll work for your child(ren) too!):
Taking deep breaths is the simplest, most effective way to tap into your inner peace. As you go throughout your days (and especially when you feel stressed), be aware of how you’re breathing (is it shallow from your chest or deep from your belly?), and if you’re not already, take a few deep breaths. Here’s how:
- Inhale fully and deeply through your nose, filling your belly with air like a balloon as you count to 5.
- Exhale deeply through your nose, counting to 5, allowing your belly button to go back towards your spine.
- Repeat 5 to 10 times or until you feel calmer.
Meditating on a regular basis — even if it’s just 5 or 10 minutes a day — assists greatly in staying calm and centered. A few tips for a simple meditation.
- Find a quiet, distraction-free space (if possible).
- Sit comfortably in traditional meditation style, in a chair with your feet flat on the floor or kneel.
- Sit with a straight spine, close your eyes, and bring your palms to face up or down on your legs.
- Breathe fully and deeply (see above), allowing your body and mind to relax. When thoughts come to you, let them float on by then bring your awareness back to your breathing and the present moment.
- Use a timer, app or videos on YouTube if needed.
While I don’t think we should be panicking about the virus, I do think it’s important to take necessary precautions and take care of ourselves. This includes:
- Listening to your body.
- Protecting your peace and energy.
- Getting the rest you need.
- Seeing a physician if you need to.
- Eating well.
- Staying hydrated.
- Listening to medical professionals.
Focus on the good/practice gratitude.
When much of the world is freaking out and (intentionally or not) creating a sense of fear, it’s easy for us to internalize these messages and let them affect our thoughts and what we focus on. What you give your attention to expands. So, to feel more peace and joy right now, do your best to find the positive in all situations. Focus on the big and little things that bring you joy, and notice the things you have to be grateful for in this moment.
Take a break from social media/the news.
Spending too much time scrolling through social media and watching the news can cause you to feel more anxious, overwhelmed and fearful. If you want more calm, take some time away from all the noise. Take a media break for a few hours, a weekend or a week, and/or consider limiting the amount of time you spend on it daily.
Focus on what you can control.
Fretting about what you can’t control does nothing to benefit you and only increases your stress levels (which can also suppress your immune system). Instead of worrying about what might happen or what could happen, breathe, allow yourself to be in the moment, focus on what you can do and trust that Spirit’s got you.
Want to learn more about ways to find your calm? Download your copy of the ‘The Black Girl’s Guide to Calm book!