COVID-19: a message in these crazy times (ENG)

It’s all we talk about these days. These ‘crazy times’ we currently live in. This is our reality at the moment. Schools, restaurants, event venues are all closed. Doctors, nurses, other hospital staff and caretakers are working even harder than they already did before the virus broke out. It’s affecting us in so many ways, worldwide. I know I have to be careful, writing about this. So I won’t be talking about my perspective or opinion in a way it could hurt people or take sides in certain (political) aspects in this difficult situation – but hopefully it might help you in a way.

COVID-19 has hit our country, The Netherlands, about 3 weeks ago. It’s been a long 3 weeks, if you ask me. Processing the fact this is a legit crisis and adapting to the ‘new way of living’, the quarantine life. Not be able to see some loved ones, because you love them too much to put them at risk. To be honest, not referring to my last point, it’s starting to get to me. Generally. At times I get a little anxious and wind myself up.

Facts
I came across an article written by a doctor. The article had a reassuring ‘human’ approach (with some core scientific and really logical facts). Basically what he said was that fear puts us in a so-called ‘fight-flight-freeze’1 modus. I could already relate to that without even knowing what that even is. The fear, that causes this reaction, starts in our brain. Amygdala, a reactive part of the brain, takes over our actions. When this happens our body starts to produce a steroid called Cortisol. This might sound a little more familiar to you – because this is what causes us to stress. Stress weakens the immune system2. We might all know by now by now that a weaker immune system makes us vulnerable to the virus.

How to positively shift
I know for a fact, through my personal experience, that stress makes me only think about myself and blurs my view – literally sometimes. No bueno, right? So, besides the clear precautions, what can you do to shift your mind-set in a positive way?

News overload
It helps me to reduce reading all kinds of news on too many (social) channels. I noticed it’s too much and part of the information might not even always be accurate or legit. I would check news sites, Facebook way too often and freaked out by reading all kinds of things. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not neglecting the matter this way.

Grateful
If this already taught me something even more, it’s to be grateful for all that I have and everyone that’s important to me (and are still healthy!). So every time when your feelings get a little mixed up again, try to think of this. I’m so thankful for our healthcare system in The Netherlands (I know, unfortunately, healthcare isn’t a matter if course in all countries). Thankful for all the medical staff in our hospitals that are working like crazy to get this virus under control and making decisions which are far from easy. Feeling grateful, thankful, will get you out the fight-flight state immediately3.

Connect
In this short amount of time it also taught us that this need of real connection is high. Even more than we might have realized before. Even though we’re not able to be with each other physically, there are many ways to be and feel connected to one another. What a time to be alive, if we think about all the digital possibilities, right? We’re able to work and ‘socialize’ through video calls, for example. Imagine not having these possibilities – and we tend to forget that a lot of people still don’t have these possibilities due to financial or political reasons. This worldwide matter makes us contemplate at our lives and (as corny this may sound) we’re all actually in this together.

Choose how you react and mantra away
I won’t start explaining why I believe in the law of attractions so much (will save that for another article, ha!), but I do believe training positive habits will benefit us all. At times (I hope many, many times) you succeed and at other times you won’t always find your way. It starts with your thoughts. The thoughts you have determine your feelings. So if you only imagine enough how it would feel to be that bold, brave and positive person, it will result in good vibes and feels 4. We can’t change this all at once; it takes time. But what we can control is our attitude towards the situation.

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1, 2, 3, 4 Choi, dr. E. K. (2020, 25). [COVID-19] One Important Recommendation You May Not be Hearing. Geraadpleegd op 2 2020, van https://medium.com/the-mission/why-coronavirus-should-be-the-least-of-your-worries-d6ed6abe75bc

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