MINDHACKS - Shifting our Perspective
SOMETHING WE CAN CONTROL
It's important to exercise self awareness and boundaries during this pandemic. The continuous news cycle and constant updates of infection and death rates at home and around the world feed our normal stress and anxiety. Obsession can develop out of a positive intention to "stay abreast" of updates. CHECK IN with yourself periodically throughout each day and notice if your conversations or news and social media consumption are becoming a detrimental or overly time-consuming distraction.
If you are having difficulty sustaining focus on anything but the current outbreak, it is definitely time to incorporate some boundaries around your preparedness efforts. GUARD what you allow into your mind. LIMIT your exposure to news and AVOID articles titled "This is How Bad it Could Get in the US", and the like. Stick to information sources that are FACT Based (e.g., CDC, Local health department, etc.). Adding more stress to the equation is NOT going to be helpful; in fact, it is the mechanism by which hysteria and panic are created.
FOR WHAT WE CAN'T CONTROL
If you have a spiritual or religious practice, this is a good time to re-connect or double down. FAITH is the ultimate replacement for FEAR, and spiritual practice is designed to guide us and help us navigate uncertainty and the unknown. Prayer, meditation, sacred ritual, or reading daily devotionals or comforting passages from the Bible or other sacred texts can all be helpful. Can you reach out to a spiritual mentor or "attend" a service or prayer group online? There are certainly a million podcasts out there -- look for a spiritually-based podcast that resonates with you. Taking this sacred time away from the increased stress will give your body and mind a needed break and a chance to recover.
The bottom line is, we do have choice over what we put our focus on, even if we need to redirect our focus 100 times in a day. Let's strengthen our ability to make healthy choices around what we choose to allow in. Be well!