Managing Concerns and Emotions about COVID-19

Here are some tips to help you put information in perspective and manage your well being.

Try a gratitude practice.  A daily gratitude practice involves remembering or writing down 3-5 things in the day that are blessings. You can do this in the morning or end of the day.  Gratitude practice has been shown to increase immune system functioning, improve sleep, and create a positive feeling about life.

Staying connected with friends and family is key.   Feeling alone or isolated is an unhealthy condition in which to live.  Find consistent and creative ways to communicate and connect with your friends who cannot be with you physically.

“The secret to happiness is routines,” said the Dalai Lama.  Try to establish routines and develop habits that make you feel happy and wholesome.  As much as possible, do what is right and best in this moment, and what follows will go better.

There are four cornerstones for a happy, healthy life: Sleep; Eating well; Exercise; and Social connection.  As much as possible incorporate these simple, fundamental behaviors into your life, and you will feel more balanced and whole.

Finding meaning and purpose is vital to all of us.  Explore ways to help others in this time of crisis.  Cook food for others; send cards; write a song or poem to share; volunteer your time in the community in some way that will make a difference to others.

Focus on empathy.  When dealing with crisis, anxiety, and being overwhelmed, things always go better when we keep our focus on how to love and see the way that we are all interconnected.  Easing fixation on “me, mine, and I” and opening to “we, us, and our” can give us a pathway toward caring about everyone near and far.

Every day try to take 5 minutes for self-reflection.  This can come in the form of reading, meditation/prayer, journaling, sitting quietly with a cup of tea/coffee in the morning, counting your blessings, sending good wishes to other people for happiness, safety, and good health.

Remember boredom can be a gateway to creativity.  Many famous inventors, artists, innovators, and writers have commented that their most original thoughts and ideas came in the midst of boredom.

Also, finally, remember that this will pass.  Like everything in life: this crisis is impermanent and will change.  There will come a time when this current situation will shift, pass away, and in its place a new reality will arise.

Fall foliage brings the Bates campus to life.

Fall foliage brings the Bates campus to life.

HELPFUL ONLINE RESOURCES

Liberate Meditation

Calm.com

Mindfulness.org

The Happiness Lab

Virusanxiety.com

Free Guide to Living with Worry and Anxiety Amidst Global Uncertainty (Available in 20+ languages)

Pandemic Project: Expressive Writing Projects

Coronavirus-Anxiety-Workbook