Coronavirus - Focus on the positive
Posted on march 22, 2020 
When the news is all doom and gloom—as it has been since the outbreak of the coronavirus— it’s hard for even the most optimistic among us to stay positive. It’s true that we need to take this virus seriously. It’s capable of causing severe illness, death, and drastic long-term changes to how we live and work. It could even cripple the economy. It’s easy to stay focused on those calamities: they seem to be the only topics covered on local and national news.

But those thoughts would be counterproductive. Obviously, there are things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak to protect yourself and those around you, but you do not need to become a COVID-19 expert, nor do you need to hear about every unpleasant detail from dawn until bedtime. Instead, focus on the positive so that you have the energy and resolve needed to weather this storm. 

Here are nine things you can do:

1. Limit your intake. 
You could watch 24-hour news channels, listen to dire warnings on the radio, or visit countless websites and be bombarded with the angst of the moment. Instead, choose a single news source and decide how much limited time you’ll spend with it each day. Then stick to your plan.

2. Strengthen your connections: 
for those of us in family lockdown, now is the opportunity to spend quality time with our loved ones. Take the time to hug your kids or partner, look them in the eyes, have long conversations with them – all of these gestures promote closeness and also boost your oxytocin, which is a hormone that bonds people and also has a calming effect on your body. When your oxytocin levels spike they tell your body to switch off cortisol, the stress hormone.



3. Do Meditation. 
The effect meditation has on stress is probably the most common benefit people are aware of. There are a lot of ways meditation impacts emotional and mental health because it’s a unique exercise that targets your mind, where you learn how to find calmness and relaxation in this crazy Days. Using meditation to reduce this stress could change your life for the better.

4. Look to the past. 
Get hope from your past resilience. You have likely endured other unforeseen major life disrupters like 9/11, major hurricanes, or the financial meltdown of 2008. You made it through! And you are stronger because of it. Know that you will get through this. Remind yourself of your resilience on a regular basis.

5. Watch a funny video. 
Thanks to the huge popularity of YouTube, there are thousands of videos that can help you take your mind off current events, if only for three minutes at a time. Start to bookmark the funniest among them so you can return for a repeat viewing whenever things feel gloomy.

6. Look for the good: 
Philanthropists are donating money to scientists to find a cure. Doctors and medical staff are working overtime to help sick patients. Neighborhoods are putting together care packages for people who are sleeping rough. People are posting positive messages on social media. Friends from across the globe reaching out to each other. When we tune into these positive and pro-social aspects of the crisis, we are united in hope.



7. Send gifts in the mail. 
This is especially valuable to the elderly who are living in nursing homes. Many facilities have closed their doors to all visitors, making residents feel even more isolated and vulnerable.

8. Increase your resilience: 
Research has shown that when we experience positive emotions on the back of a stressful event, we bounce back more quickly and have a faster “cardiovascular recovery” time – our heart rate lowers and our blood pressure stabilises more quickly when we are able to be positive.
Increase your immunity: a study where people were deliberately infected with the influenza virus and rhinovirus found that those people who had more positive emotions were more likely to fight off the symptoms. People low on positive emotions were 2.9 times more likely to contract a respiratory illness in this study.

9. Make you think more clearly: 
the way we feel influences the way we think. Positive emotions boost our problem solving abilities as well as our judgment, decision-making, cognitive flexibility and creativity. Staying positive will help you and your kids to be better at solving all the little problems that are being thrown our way right now, such as figuring out new technology platforms for working (and schooling) from home.

May God bless us and the whole world
AMEN




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