The great unknown is quite possibly the root of all fear. We seek to find some order and sense of control so we can escape that looming feeling of dread that plagues our thoughts and occupies our minds; the fear of death.
And here we are amidst a crisis, where the outcome for some will most assuredly be the return to the other side, and the sheer magnitude is sending many of us into a full-blown panic.
First, this is an entirely rational and normal fear, considering the circumstances. However, in these times, we must try to exercise common sense, logical thinking, and a return to our divine heart.
Easily said, not so easily done, I know, but let us break it down.
JUST THE FACTS
It’s easy to get swept up into the media shitstorm and tumble down the rabbit hole, so step one in a common-sense thought correction is focusing on just the facts.
- What are the symptoms of COVID-19 and do I have them?
You can find this information on the CDC’s website. It is essential to go right to the source in times like these and try your best to avoid sensationalized media outlets that prey on your fears.
2. More people have recovered from this illness than perished. As a matter of fact, 80% of the cases reported are minor, 15% moderate, and 5% life-threatening. Now 5% of millions is a large number, so we need to stick together in making sure it doesn’t climb that high, but rather than let our minds wander into the abyss of “what if,” it’s best to stay centered and focus on the here and now.
3. Do not take ADVIL or IBPROFUEN as they have been found to exacerbate illness.
WHAT IF I DO GET SICK?
If you should develop symptoms and test positive for COVID-19, this is still not a time to panic. If your symptoms are not too severe, you will be sent home to quarantine, which, if you had the flu, you would need to do anyway.
Please keep your thoughts focused on healing, monitor your symptoms to ensure they aren’t worsening, drink plenty of fluids, and rest.
When you panic, your cortisol levels rise, which stresses your immune system weakening your ability to fight off infections. So adding alarm to any illness will only prolong it and keep you in a more uncomfortable state than necessary.
The better choice would be to find ways of activating your relaxation systems. Reading uplifting stories, meditations, soft music, watching movies (maybe not Contagion) 😉 Doing things that will get your mind focused on wellness and staying positive.
I AM TERRIFIED OF LOCKDOWN
It certainly is odd to walk the streets, especially in a big city and suddenly feel as though you’re going to meet up with Will Smith in I am Legend.
This alone can give rise to panic in some (I would love it, but I’m Gen X, so there’s that). Feelings of isolation can make people very nervous, so again we will break down the thought process behind this to separate fact from fiction.
- MARTIAL LAW IS NOT IN EFFECT
What is martial law? In simple terms (according to Merriam-webster)
1: the law applied in occupied territory by the military authority of the occupying power. 2: the law administered by military forces that are invoked by a government in an emergency when civilian law enforcement agencies are unable to maintain public order and safety.
NONE OF THE ABOVE IS HAPPENING. So let’s refocus and stay in the moment. Sheltering is being enforced because when we were asked to stay home to help slow the spread of illness, many people decidedly ignored it. Therefore to protect the few from the many, the government has called for a temporary shut-down to try to flatten the curve.
You are not by any means trapped inside your home. Your freedoms are restricted at the moment, but as with all things, this is temporary. You may go for a walk or run. Just be mindful of your distance to others. If you have a home enjoy your backyard or patio, sit out in the sunshine, and try your best to relax your mind.
There are many mind-distracting things to do when stuck at home:
- Read a book (many people have strayed away from our paper-filled friends, but whether on kindle or hardcover, get into that story you’ve always wanted to get to but haven’t had the time)
- Binge-watch any series multiple times if you have to; there are some perfect ones right now.
- Learn some great new recipes and cook!
- Play an instrument badly if you have to.
- Dance! They have online courses, and YouTube has many free videos showing you how. Or you can just run around with reckless abandon to your favorite songs. It’s all the same.
- Play board games (I am a master at Clue, just saying)
- Write a journal documenting your time with COVID-19, this one is going in the history books, and you are going to be a part of it…something to tell your grandkids, but only if you remember…
- Talk to your friends…on the phone! Whoa. Mind. Blown.
- Do a cool art project with your kids, by yourself, or with your pet… It doesn’t matter how you do it; do it.
- Spend time outside in the sunshine or even the rain. Connect with the earth like never before while the world is much quieter.
- Start doing one of those online exercise programs you can do from your house! I love them, and they are only 4-10 minutes each. So worth the time.
Then there are the activities that will help you ease panic and navigate the storm:
- Meditate. We should all be doing this every day, so if you haven’t found the tie to do it, the time has come. There are many forms of meditation; you can find one that speaks to you.
- Cosmic Breath. I talked about the cosmic breath on my IG page and how all the universe breathes. Get into controlling your breathing, and you will find many panic thoughts start to lessen.
- Prayer. It doesn’t matter how you pray or whom you pray to, do it. We all need to do our part in lifting the planet’s vibration right now, from fear to love; prayer is how we do that. When offering your prayers, be sure not to only ask for yourself but for others, friends, family, and enemies close to you and globally; most important, pray for world peace.
- Therapy. Many therapists do phone or skype sessions. If you suffer from a panic anxiety disorder, it is highly recommended to get someone familiar with CBT; this is the most effective form of therapy in healing panic. See if they are still seeing patients virtually and get your session in.
- Help Others. Many people cannot leave the house, and when they do, they are met with empty shelves. If you are shopping, grab some items for your neighbor, friends, or family and leave them a care package outside their door. Caring for others helps lift the vibration from the lower energies of “me” to the higher vibrational energy of “we.”
Reframing our thoughts and bringing into focus all that we are grateful for will help us to stay calm amidst the storm. Focusing on all the reasons we are thankful anchors us to the moment.
In these times, we are offered so much in terms of spiritual growth. Coal cannot turn into a diamond unless you apply pressure; the same is true with ascension.
There is beauty in chaos. It is only when things fall apart that they can be rebuilt and often come back better and stronger than before ( a phoenix, for example). This is not just true of economies but of each of us individually.
Living with the fear of death can only rob you of living life. Eventually, we will all transform from this body, as that is part of the deal. It is something to work toward accepting, not fearing. Turning to a good spiritual practice that resonates with you will help you do that.
While you may be sick, in quarantine, or on lockdown, you still have a choice regarding how you will respond to your circumstances. Wake up with a grateful heart, meet each day with a fearless spirit, help others, eat, pray, rest, rejuvenate, spread joy and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this too shall pass.
I wish you all abundant love, peace, and strength. We are all in this together.