The current situation with Covid-19 is real and quite serious and needs the attention and diligence of every single person.  But that does not mean anyone needs to panic, become overwhelmed with anxiety or slip into depression.

  1. Stay positive. If we all take the recommended steps, this crisis will pass.
  2. Take care of your body.  Get sleep and don’t overdo caffeine, alcohol or food.
  3. Call a trusted friend or relative to talk through how you are feeling.
  4. Unplug for a time.  This is a slow moving situation.  Give yourself a whole day, or just a few hours, with no news or input.

We must all maintain appropriate social distancing.  But here are some things you can do as much as you want:

  • Go for a walk.
  • Get to a task in your home you have been putting off a long time.
  • Call a relative or friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time.
  • Check in on a neighbor who lives alone.
  • Call someone who always makes you laugh.
  • Exercise at home to music or online instruction.
  • Listen to your favorite album or group.
  • There are many virtual plays, concerts and museums you can enjoy from home.
  • Dance.
  • Sit in a park or just in your yard.
  • Make a plan for something special or meaningful you will do when the current situation passes.

Calming mindfulness exercises can also be helpful. If you have not meditated before, or do not have a regular practice, you may want to try the below.

  1. Find a comfortable quiet place to sit.  A comfortable chair or even cross-legged on the floor.  Turn off your phone and try to make the space free of distractions for now.
  2. Take a moment feel gratitude to yourself for making the time and for the present moment.
  3. Close your eyes and do a mental scan of your body.  Are there any tense places?  Anywhere you can relax the muscles and release tension?  Your shoulders?  Neck?
  4. Now gently focus on your breath.  Try to empty your mind of worries and thoughts and just focus on your breathing.
  5. Being mindful of the breath into your abdomen, expand on an inhalation and fall on an exhalation. Breathe in and breathe out with awareness.
  6. Thoughts will break in.  It’s okay.  Examine them, set them aside and focus on your breathing.  Be kind to yourself.  Don’t be upset about intruding thoughts, just be aware of them.  You can always go back to them.
  7. For now, just breathe in and out, feeling your belly expanding on the inhalation and falling on the exhalation. Breathing in and breathing out, with awareness. Just staying present to each breath, in and out.

Maybe you can do this for five minutes, ten minutes, twenty minutes.  Whatever you are able to do is good.  And if you try this daily, you will find you are able to extend the time and hopefully, make it a regular practice.