As news about coronavirus (COVID-19) dominates the headlines and public concern is on the rise, we must remember to take care of your physical health.
Good mental health and positive wellbeing can help you better cope with the COVID-19 threat and the uncertainty it’s creating.
I was in the petrol station at the check-out desk paying for my diesel, and my eyes were drawn to the following headlines in the local newspaper.
“Looting thieves steal toilet rolls from a petting farm, and sanitiser from hospitals as coronavirus panic sees supermarket shelves stripped bare.”
Opportunistic thieves pilfered 80 rolls from Heeley City Farm, a popular petting zoo for youngsters in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
Chesterfield Royal Hospital in Derbyshire revealed supplies of hand sanitisers and gels disappearing from wards and even patients’ bedsides.
Our brains are more attuned to negative news and information, and our capacity to focus on negative details so heavily is to keep us safe and out of harm’s way.
From the dawn of human history, our ancestors very survival depended on their ability to recognise and avoid dangerous situations.
The human brain developed systems that would make it unavoidable for us not to notice danger and thus, hopefully, respond to it.
Here are some actions to consider:
Try to avoid excessive exposure to news coverage. Constant monitoring of news updates and social media feeds about COVID-19 can intensify feelings of anxiety and fear. Consider turning off automatic notifications on your digital device and taking a break from the headlines. Setting boundaries to how much news you watch, read or listen to will allow you to focus on your health and wellbeing, rather than wondering ‘what if?’.
Take better care of yourself, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. This includes focusing on things you can control (like having good hygiene) instead of those you cannot (stopping the virus).
Where possible, maintain your daily routine and normal activities. Eating healthy meals, regular exercise, spending time with family, friends and loved ones. Getting enough sleep and doing things that you enjoy, which will have a positive impact on your feelings and thoughts.
Try and focus on things that are positive in your life. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends seeking out positive stories and images of local people who have encountered and recovered from the coronavirus. Or those who have helped someone through recovery and are willing to share their experience.
It is perfectly normal to feel stressed, overwhelmed, anxious or upset, among a wide range of other emotional reactions, in the current situation.
Give yourself time to express and notice your feelings. Speak to a trusted colleague, write your thoughts down in a journal, do something creative, practising mindfulness or meditation.
Click here to download your free Westfield Health COVID-19 Guide, information and advice on how to prepare your organisation.
If you’re still worried or anxious about your future and you’d like some help to manage your wellbeing get in touch and book your FREE 40-minute consultation.
Telephone 0114 327 2683 or email firstname.lastname@example.org