As a generation that has never experienced a true global crisis before, the last few weeks (or months depending on what part of the world you’re in) will likely have felt quite disturbing and at the very least surreal. As we try to go about our (rapidly changing) daily lives, the spectre of the coronavirus is constantly looming over us, causing worry and distress.
Global leaders and scientists are in universal agreement on one thing - beating the coronavirus will be a marathon and not a sprint. We are already looking at months of “social distancing”, while vaccines, although in fast-tracked development programmes, will in all likelihood not be ready until 2021 at the earliest.
As well as taking every precaution to avoid catching and/or transmitting Covid19 - regularly washing your hands, not touching your face, not shaking hands or hugging people - it’s also hugely important that you also take steps to protect your mental health during this difficult, and likely, lengthy period.
KEEP GETTING YOUR EXERCISE FIX
You have probably found that your routine has been severely compromised by the enforced restrictions imposed in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Gym shutdowns, yoga studio closures and even, in some highly-affected areas, park closures have taken away people’s regular environment for keeping fit.
Fortunately, there are solutions. If yoga is your thing, there are some great apps out there (read on for more) that will generate and guide you through a customised yoga practice in seconds. All you need is your mat and 6 feet of floor!
Down Dog has some great apps to help you exercise at home - from yoga to HIIT to Barre. In light of the Covid-19 situation they are also offering these apps free until April 1st.
Running has long been celebrated as a way to shed negative energy and with the quieter streets, is a good way to get out of the house, get some light, and chase that ‘runners high’. Just remember if you’re running with someone (per latest government advice this should only be with a fellow household member) maintain the recommended 2 metre ‘social distancing’ gap.
While you may be tempted to stock up on tinned goods and dry long-life foods, getting enough fresh fruit and vegetables is vitally important to maintain a healthy immune system. While supermarkets might be less stocked than normal due to increased buying, if you time it right you should still be able to get most of the essentials. Many of the bigger shops will re-stock overnight so arriving first thing in the morning might be your best bet.
There are also lots of smaller, independant, corner shops that regularly have a stock of fresh fruit and vegetables - even when the supermarket shelves are bare. Remember, that while loose fruit and veg are great (no unnecessary plastic packaging) it is very important that you wash them thoroughly when you get home.
GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
For many people this will be a very uncertain and stressful time. You might have loved ones that are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19. Or maybe your industry has been affected and you are worried about your job.
Stress and anxiety can keep you from falling asleep - or wake you up in the middle of the night with little chance of getting back to sleep afterwards. This can lead to fatigue and poor mood the following day, which is particularly ill fitting in these challenging times.
There are a couple of simple things you can do to help avoid this.
- Try disconnecting from the news an hour or two before bed, so that any associated negative emotions have time to process and dissipate.
- A caffeine-free tea, such as camomile, before bed, can help you to relax and ease you into sleep more quickly. Alcoholic drinks, although they may help you to fall asleep more quickly, disrupt your sleep quality and may leave you feeling sluggish in the morning.
- You’ll know this next one by now - but it really can’t be said too many times... Avoid screens before bed - the blue light they emit will interfere with your sleep. If you absolutely need to use them then make sure you use a blue-light filter on your device or wear some blue-light blocking glasses.
- And, if you haven’t tried CBD before, now might be a good moment. Many of our customers have reported that their sleep quality has improved notably since they began using our CBD oils.
TALK TO YOUR LOVED ONES
In times like this, everyone wants to be close to their nearest and dearest. Some of the most difficult aspects of social distancing are not being able to hug your parents, nor visit your grandparents, nor go out for a coffee or a beer with your best friend.
We are lucky though, in the sense that we’ve never been so digitally connected as we are now. Video call and check in on your friends and family regularly, particularly the elderly or more vulnerable ones. They will be feeling this isolation even more keenly - put a smile on their faces and you’ll soon have one on your own too.
CAUSES FOR OPTIMISM
These are unprecedented, difficult, and for some, tragic times. But there is plenty of cause for optimism.
- The virus, although still spreading in the rest of the world, has been successfully stemmed in Asia.
- Vaccines are in development and could be ready early next year.
- Treatments are also in development and have shown early promise.
“Deep within a crisis is an opportunity for something beautiful.”
All over the world there have been many uplifting stories of how people deal with this crisis. Be it random acts of kindness, universal celebration of the heroism of the medical teams fighting on the front-line, or cheerful balcony sing-a-longs.
When we successfully get through this marathon - and we will - we will come out on the other side with a much keener sense of what truly matters. In the meantime, look after yourselves, and your loved ones.
Jan and Odhran, founders of Sonas.