April Notebook: Staying Calm in a Pandemic

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

By now, you'd have to be living in a cave to not be inundated with news about the coronavirus pandemic - also known as Covid-19, or COVID-19, if you will.

The way you have to work ahead in publishing, the ever-changing information has made it challenging to come up with something that won't become quickly dated in a monthly newsletter. That said, with all of the hoarding and panic going on, some suggestions on remaining calm seem in order. Paraphrased from a useful podcast I heard last week, here are some ideas for keeping a cool head until the pandemic is past.

* Get the FACTS from a reputable website like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO). Read them to stay current, but don't dwell on this issue by reading about it and worrying about it all day long. Be informed, then move on!

* Don't shame yourself for experiencing anxiety. Being anxious on occasion is normal. If you're anxious all the time, you may need to seek the help of a psychiatrist trained in mental health.

* Tackle a household project (or two) you've been putting off for too long.

* Read a relaxing book.

* Listen to soothing music.

* Remember that the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting us differently. Allow people to be where they're at: They may have a good reason for being more worried than you are.

* This too shall pass. Remember difficult times in the past that you have gotten through.

* Pray the Serenity Prayer. If you're not familiar with it, it goes like this: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

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