Showing posts with label healthy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label healthy. Show all posts

COVID-19: 7 Ways to Stay Healthy during the Pandemic



In no time, an invisible germ flipped our lives upside down. We had a career one day and didn't the next. Our children were at school and then came home, cut off from their peers and hobbies, and expected to spend 24 hours a day with us. The streets went from busy to deserted. Each adult and child looked at their homes' doors, unsure if life had changed permanently or if this upheaval was just temporary. In addition to the fear of the COVID-19 virus affecting our physical health, many people have suffered emotional and mental distress. Was this going to be the new normal? Can we have our work back, will our kids go back to school, or will we have to live like this for another year?



If life hadn't been so wonderful before, the abrupt transition wouldn't have been so unsettling. Healthy jobs, good schools, and low unemployment were all available to us. Parents spent enough time with their children and enough time away from us that we were eager to see each other as we returned home. We never counted how many toilet paper rolls or Purell® sanitizer tubes we had. Any people have never used hand sanitizer until COVID-19. It was now a valuable asset on par with gold.

The strange thing of life is that it is very delicate. We know this in our heads when life is healthy, but we never quite believe it. Disruption, work destruction, and pandemics are concepts that have occurred in previous eras and continents. But it's happening today, in our own moment, in our own homes. We had no warning, unlike previous conflicts. The COVID-19 outbreak hit us like an earthquake, destroying homes and crushing people while they were sleeping.

Now it's up to and of us to figure out how to survive this pandemic. Should we really do that? Many people are concerned that they will not make it out alive, and I appreciate their concern. Any people do not agree. However, the truth is that the vast majority of us cannot. Nobody knows who will survive and who will perish, and this is when the frightening fragility of life becomes apparent. The reality is that coronavirus will not be the last disturbance of our lives, so now is the time to roll up our sleeves and get to work on living with courage rather than dread. And we have no doubts about our ability to accomplish this. However, we must be deliberate in order to stand up straight in the face of terror. We must implement new habits and tactics that are unfamiliar to us. We believe we will and we are confident individuals. Every single one of us has the ability to dig deep and succeed rather than only get by through this period. We will discover amazing things about ourselves and our loved ones. We'll get to see aspects of our characters we didn't know existed, which is really interesting. Make life changes to fight sickness, anxiety, and destruction, as I previously said, does not come without effort. Here are seven improvements that all of us can make to make life easier and lessen the pressures that COVID-19 has put on us.


1. Stick to a normal routine for yourself and your children.




We are creatures of habit, and we need a daily routine. Through our mealtimes, work schedules, and sleep schedules, most of us subconsciously create these routines. We'll have to start anew now that these are broken. We used to get up at 7:00 a.m. to go to work, but now that we work from home, we can start as early as 10:00 a.m. And that will help you maintain your sanity. We used to wake up at 8:00 a.m., serve before 12:00 p.m. for lunch, and then attempt to get some exercise before dinner. Kids went to kindergarten, played until lunchtime, and then then returned home or went to soccer practice at 3:00 p.m. These everyday rituals, however, are no longer present. There will be no reading, math, or scientific wars. There will be no school lunches or games. Only open days at home with Mom or Dad. Can you think how a senior in high school who is about to graduate would feel?

Moving from predictable tasks to barren days, for whatever reason, throws us all—adults and children—off balance physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Cortisol, neurohormones, and the numerous other hormones our bodies are used to producing at certain periods work on a cycle. They've worked out how to get us through our days, but now they're being thrown off as well.

We are the adults in control of ourselves and our children, and we must lead by example. To restore equilibrium, we must first create regular routines for ourselves and our children. Of course, they may be flexible, but there are certain aspects that our bodies and minds need to survive. As a result, we need time to consider, exercise, and work in some way. The distinction between caving in and surviving would be quiet time in which we can read or gather our ideas, workout to sort out the kinks, and work to keep us feeling optimistic. So, if the days have been a shambles, get some help at home. You don't have to be too strict about keeping track of the minutes of your and your children's days, but you do need to know what will happen the next day in the morning, afternoon, and evening.


2. Make weekly Skype calls with friends and family and schedule them in your calendar.





The most painful aspect of quarantine is dealing with the isolation we feel when we are separated from our friends and families. Friends and outsiders cling to one another to get through hurricanes, explosions, and other natural disasters. It's human nature to get assistance from others and to try to assist others. We can't cling or lean while we're apart, though. We can't talk about our problems with our kids, our spouses, or our jobs at work. It is not permissible for children to gather in the corridor to vent about their guardians. While these releases can seem insignificant, they are important for us to remain emotionally intact. Humans were created to be in partnerships. It is because of our interactions with God and others that we are alive. We aren't all here to excel at our careers, athletics, or other pursuits. We were created to love, connect, disagree, and console one another. As a result, when our relationship with others is taken apart, we must try to recreate it as closely as possible.

Here's when the wonder of screens comes into play. We complained about how screens had interrupted our lives and ruined our marriages a month earlier, but now we enjoy them. They're here to save us. Screens allow people to see each other. We may not be able to hug our loved ones, but we can see their smiles. Disappointment, love, or sorrow can both be heard. We will help one another while we face the challenges ahead. We felt encouraged and understood throughout the conversation. If one of us starts to feel anxious or depressed, we can intervene before he succumbs to despair. We might not be able to do it as well as we should if we were in person, but it's better than nothing. We should seek assistance and support from those who are flourishing more than we are.

Screens cannot provide us with true affection, but they do provide us with useful connection in the short term. We would be overwhelmed by depression and our emotional fragility would develop if we didn't have the trade. If we are separated from our friends or relatives for a long time, we will become despondent. We may believe we are self-sufficient, self-reliant, and completely autonomous (as we should be), but we aren't. This reality strikes us square in the face in a crisis. It's difficult to admit, but if we do, we're free of all of the pressures we've placed on ourselves. We feel fragile and helpless while we are experiencing genuine depression and the desire to communicate with others. This is due to the fact that we are. One of the best gifts in a disaster might be realizing how much we need each other.


3. Get everybody involved.




The need for families to work as families is one of the most valuable gifts we have given up over the last thirty years. We have put an unhealthy sovereignty on each family member as we work to provide resources for development and self-discovery for our children. Parents care for their children, while children are provided for by their parents. Life is about finding out who and individual is apart from the others, not about supporting one another as a collective, interdependent entity. No one felt that way until the 1950s, if we go back far enough in history. Parents were needed by mothers, fathers were needed by mothers, and children were needed by their parents. It wasn't all about money; the interdependence went even deeper. For everyday stuff like chores—cleaning, mowing lawns, cooking, you name it—each family member relied on the others. And they lived out the fact that they were physically dependent on one another. Family members became the go-to individuals for problem-solving (or at least tried).

Since we have cut family members off from one another, these dependencies have vanished. We may hire people to mow lawns, sweep, cook, and take care of any other household chores. Of course, there's nothing wrong with it, but if it leads to family members living isolated, private lives, as it always does, relationships suffer.

All of this changes after a disaster strikes, such as a pandemic. Outside of the family, no one mows the yard, cleans the home, or prepares meals. This is such a good thing. It forces us to work together and support one another. So that one person (usually Mom) does not collapse with fatigue, chores must be divided up. Of course, children will complain vehemently at being forced to do work they have never done before, but the beauty is that if they are working with their parents and siblings, they will realize how vital they are to the entire family. They are important. Since the family operates as a unit, each family member is essential. This is a crucial lesson because it brings us all together. It alters our personalities. We are no longer self-sufficient, but more reliant. For the first time, children see themselves as important members of the household. This is all that children yearn for. When they think they aren't wanted or that they aren't a part of the family, they struggle. The change of personality that can arise when children are told they are required for the family's wellbeing is one of the most life-changing consequences of tragedy for children.

Since we have cut family members off from one another, these dependencies have vanished. We may hire people to mow lawns, sweep, cook, and take care of any other household chores. Of course, there's nothing wrong with it, but if it leads to family members living isolated, private lives, as it always does, relationships suffer.

All of this changes after a disaster strikes, such as a pandemic. Outside of the family, no one mows the yard, cleans the home, or prepares meals. This is such a good thing. It forces us to work together and support one another. So that one person (usually Mom) does not collapse with fatigue, chores must be divided up. Of course, children will complain vehemently at being forced to do work they have never done before, but the beauty is that if they are working with their parents and siblings, they will realize how vital they are to the entire family. They are important. Since the family operates as a unit, each family member is essential. This is a crucial lesson because it brings us all together. It alters our personalities. We are no longer self-sufficient, but more reliant. For the first time, children see themselves as important members of the household. This is all that children yearn for. When they think they aren't wanted or that they aren't a part of the family, they struggle. The change of personality that can arise when children are told they are required for the family's wellbeing is one of the most life-changing consequences of tragedy for children.

For everybody in the family to chip in and contribute will lead to something positive—helping people outside the household. Serving others is the only cure for selfishness, moaning, and crying. We see businesses around the world producing gloves, hand sanitizers, and other medical equipment solely to assist those on the front lines. Trying to support and inspire one's neighbor brings great pleasure in the face of adversity, from big corporations to lines of kids in communities reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in unison. Challenge your kids to find someone who wants a note, a bag of groceries, a Skype message, or even silent prayers after they've started pitching in around the house. When children do this on a daily basis, you will see a difference in them.


4. Identify real stressors and devise a strategy for dealing with them.



Everyone is stressed out by a sudden lifestyle transition. When life is twisted on its head, every man, woman, and infant experiences an internal unsettledness, regardless of personality style. Recognizing a failure is an essential part of the inherent human mechanism of transition. We lose control of our everyday lives as disaster strikes. When restaurants and schools close, kids miss out on time with their peers, and parents miss out on social opportunities. There are also defeats that are exclusive to each individual's life. Our souls are wired to process failure, which makes them uncomfortable. Some, as we've seen, argue that there has been any loss. Some argue that COVID-19 isn't really a concern. Others argue that we overreacted out of irrational anxiety. They do this to combat the fact that it has arrived and is wreaking havoc on our lives as we know it.

Others despise the infection. It has no legal authority to bring us down. After all, Americans live in the world's most technologically advanced country. How does an unseen microbe cause such havoc with so many people's lives? Doctors, children, parents, and singles are all furious at the virus.

Then we lament the improvements and losses that have occurred. Some people are adept at dealing with depression. The vast majority do not. Sadness is something that many adults and children have learnt to tuck deep in the recesses of their hearts and minds and never let out. Others are bereft of hope, and this does not benefit them. The feeling of denial, frustration, or failure, regardless of how it is handled, is stressful. Many of our feelings are expressed in a negative manner, and we scream at our children, spouses, or friends. Anxiety and depression are difficult to manage, but there are certain steps that each of us can do to reduce their severity.

First and foremost, it is important to identify the specific causes of the trauma that a disaster causes. Any people believe they are out of balance. Others lament the life they had just two weeks before. Others are afraid of not being able to afford their bills because they have lost their work. If a person can pinpoint the cause of his tension, he may be able to relieve it more easily. For example, if a mother is worried that one of her children will die, she can tell herself, "I am afraid that the coronavirus will kill one of my children." Then she will rationalize that, scientifically, this is very unlikely to occur, and her anxiety can subside. When she is merely upset and does not know what is causing it, her agitation will intensify and she will criticize and scream at loved ones.

You will find a way to relieve tension after you've pinpointed particular fears caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A person's situation is unique. Exercising has been shown to reduce depression in some people. Some people need alone time, while some need music and even others require a physical outlet for their anger. Fit that into your day until you've figured out what relieves your tension the most.

Spend thirty minutes listening to music, talking with a friend about your pressures, hitting the wall with a Nerf bat, or sitting in a silent room. If you don't make a stress-relieving strategy, you'll have to carry it out on your mates, which isn't reasonable. You'll find that finding a particular task to alleviate stress will be very beneficial.


5. Engage in a kind of prayer or meditation.



For certain people, being alone with themselves is frightening. Most people don't like to see their darkest feelings, so silence encourages them to come to the fore. We don't have to be scared, though. In reality, we can anticipate spending time alone with our thoughts. We will do this by prayer and meditation.

It's possible that prayer and meditation are the same thing, or that they're somewhat different. It all depends on how focused you are. When we calm ourselves while remembering God's presence, we become settled in a way that is not possible when we settle into silence without Him. Prayer takes us into the arms of Someone Who will help us rebuild our lives, inspire us, and give us a safe place to share our grievances. Prayer is a conversation between two people in which one person expresses his or her thoughts and feelings to the other. It's perplexing that you can still feel God's presence and other times you can't. But that's not a problem since God is still here. His existence is unaffected by our emotions. It's a fact that we should either accept or reject.

Mother Teresa talked movingly of her prayer memories. When a gentleman asked, "What do you say to God when you pray?" she said, "I listen," with her usual meekness. “What does God speak to you as you listen?” he continued. “He listens,” she replied. This response eloquently captures the mystique of prayer. We are free to say whatever we want to God. We have complete freedom to wait for Him and listen to Him. Nonetheless, we have the choice of saying nothing to Him. God simply needs us in His presence, Mother Teresa says, sometimes asking for something, sometimes thanking Him for what we have, and sometimes just sitting still.

We come before God knowingly in prayer, and we let Him know that we are listening. We're there, hoping and desiring something from Him. God, according to the Bible, adores it. “Come to me, all you who are tired and burdened, and I will grant you rest,” Jesus said in Matthew's Gospel. Rest is what God desires for us, and it also comes from being quiet in front of him.

He is patiently waiting for us to arrive and take a seat. He's like the unseen visitor who sits silently and peacefully in our houses, waiting for us to notice and enjoy Him. I really advise you to spend time in prayer if you have never done so. It isn't sorcery, and you aren't needed to say the exact right thing. True prayer entails approaching God and declaring that you think He exists and that you want to communicate with Him. There's no way around that. Being there with a loved one is a curious desire we have. Have you ever been to see a movie by yourself and only invited a loved one to visit you? You have, of course. We've just done it. But we don't want to converse with him; what we want is for him to stay with us and tell us that we are not alone. It would be a very different feeling to watch a movie without him.

Prayer can be life-changing or seem to do little at all when you first do it. But I can assure you that what Blaise Pascal, C. S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and countless others have said is correct: Prayer has a profound effect on us over time. The most profound consequence of tragedy is that it teaches one to pray in order to grow closer to God.

Meditation, on the other hand, may be very similar to prayer or very distinct. Meditation, which calms the mind and heart, aids in the relief of tension and pain. It slows breathing and reduces heart rate. Since it accomplishes these goals, prayer may be considered a form of meditation. When you meditate on someone other than yourself, you get better outcomes than when you meditate on yourself. Certain sounds or phrases are repeated by certain meditators. This ritual calms them down, but it has very different consequences than praying when God is not drawn in. Those meditators are on their own. His answer to them isn't included.

Others can benefit from meditation because it allows them to examine themselves and determine what causes them the most pain. What are the patterns, emotions, or feelings that they must overcome? Prayer would have the same impact. In worship, God will reveal what we need to do. That's nice because after meditation, we can return to the rat race and make the requisite improvements.

As you can see, the distinction between prayer and meditation is dependent on the person on whom the emphasis is placed. Yes, some people will question themselves in self-reflection, but the main distinction between prayer and meditation is that prayer often reflects on God, while meditation does not.

I urge you to begin praying if you have never done so before. Keep it easy and start conversing with God. 


Others can benefit from meditation because it allows them to examine themselves and determine what causes them the most pain. What are the patterns, emotions, or feelings that they must overcome? Prayer would have the same impact. In worship, God will reveal what we need to do. That's nice because after meditation, we can return to the rat race and make the requisite improvements.

As you can see, the distinction between prayer and meditation is dependent on the person on whom the emphasis is placed. Yes, some people will question themselves in self-reflection, but the main distinction between prayer and meditation is that prayer often reflects on God, while meditation does not.

I urge you to begin praying if you have never done so before. Keep it easy and start conversing with God. But there's one thing to remember: don't just pray once and then forget about it. Make a one-month commitment to fasting. Then keep an eye out for changes in your heart and life.


6. Make time for each family member to be alone every day.




Based on the state of their relationships prior to the transition, being pulled into tight quarters will either bring family members together or tear them away. I love seeing parents spend more time with their children. I've seen kids get more depressed and anxious over the years, and a large part of the equation is a lack of time with their parents. Kids who see their parents for just a few minutes per day—and there are a lot of them—have a hard time forming their identities and maturing. The irony is that most children yearn for more parental care. They are looking for a sense of belonging, love, and focus. There are things that children as young as three and as old as twenty feel they like. Many people are too self-conscious to question their parents, and others are afraid of being refused if they do. These are comments I often learn from children of all ages.

Tragic events force parents to spend more time with their children, which is one of the greatest benefits of disaster. Some parents claim that the time is exhausting, and that their children are often irritable and misbehaving. We must keep in mind that they are adapting as well. And if they had issues with their parents prior to the move, those issues would be amplified when they are under tension. Hold on if this is happening in your house. This is excellent. When children and parents confront their relationship's tensions, they will work out a solution. If they are never with their parents, most children do not experience resolution with them.

I want to emphasize that if your child is exploding right now, keep quiet. Don't take it too seriously. Your child is clearly being pushed to face challenges that were previously covered. Take a deep breath and get closer to him, even though you're tempted to remain far away. Remember that this challenge will give you and your partner the opportunity to work on any long-standing issues. Find a good psychiatrist whether you have legitimate questions about your child or your relationship with him or her. The majority of counsellors are able to conduct screening sessions for their clients.

What does this have to do with everybody being separated for a while? When a schedule is disrupted, it is normal for people to feel depressed. When you live in cramped conditions and are unable to communicate with others from the outside, this tension is amplified. Even if your relationships with your children and partner are still strong, scheduling small time away from each other, even if you live in the same home, will strengthen them all. Also the healthiest marriages can be harmed by so much togetherness.

Finding a moment during the day—preferably at the same time of day—when everybody will go to a different room for thirty minutes to an hour is the easiest way to do this. Lay the toddlers down for a nap if you have any. If your children are still young and do not sleep, advise them to be quiet in their rooms for the same length of time. If they refuse, advise them that they should accompany you to your bedroom (if that's when you have your alone time), but they must remain silent. They will be sent to their own room if they do not comply. Let it clear that this isn't a penalty. It's an opportunity for everyone to relax, and even adults like you need some downtime.

Allowing teens to watch a television or play a video game is appropriate. Just make sure to let them know what they can and cannot play or watch. This is a difficult time to start limiting what they will play if you haven't already done so, but do it anyway. Encourage them to listen to music, collaborate on a job they like, or socialize with their peers. The argument is that you must maintain physical and emotional distance from one another. Tell your older children why you are introducing alone time for these purposes. They would understand the explanations if you send them to them.

Do something that relaxes you during your alone time. Listen to music, listen, sleep, or work on a project—do whatever relaxes you. Thirty to sixty minutes of alone time may sound insignificant relative to what you're used to, but that's fine. Take what you can to tell yourself that the closeness is just fleeting.


7. Be kind to yourself.



Mothers, in particular, place way too many demands on themselves on a regular basis. They create a mental checklist of things they can do in order to be a good mother, and the vast majority of the things on the list are totally needless. Having nutritious meals on a regular basis, ensuring that children have something exciting or enjoyable to do at all times of the day, ensuring that they are introduced to sports, the arts, and something else that might pique their interest. The list becomes longer and more demanding as their lives are turned upside down. Mothers (and fathers) believe that they should still be able to protect their children from fighting, that they should never be bored, that they should maintain the same learning pace as before the life transition, and that they should not have more screen time than before.

There are admirable objectives, but the majority of them are unattainable. Since parents are unable to go to the grocery store as much as they used to, meals can suffer. There will be monetary difficulties. Kids will vent their annoyances on their siblings. They will be bored and even the most energetic and imaginative parent will not be able to keep their children entertained for twelve hours a day. They will more likely watch more shows or movies, which is fine. Their schoolwork would almost certainly suffer as a result. Most parents have little idea what they're doing when it comes to homeschooling, and asking them to realise all right away is unrealistic.

The argument is that parents should give themselves a break. These are difficult days. They may not have any days as they have in the past. Before COVID-19, we need to let go of the goals we set for ourselves and calm others. Now isn't the time to double focus on the tasks at hand.

In difficult times, we must all note that survival is the name of the game. Simple life is not the same as difficult times. Parents won't be able to do what they used to, so they must let go of their shame when they feel insufficient. When you don't feel like you can make your home life something you want it to be, be kind to yourself.

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the economy, putting parents under additional strain. Any people have lost their careers, and others have been laid off temporarily. It's easy to get overwhelmed when you're dealing with financial problems on top of mental and emotional ones. That is why, now more than ever, having a roadmap to get through these trying times is important. Being kind to oneself is perhaps one of the most critical aspects of that program. Treat yourself in the same respect as you will your closest friend. Can you advise her to strike a better balance between living at home, entertaining, teaching, and stopping the kids from fighting? You wouldn't, of course. Then why are you being harsher on yourself than your friend?

We try to repair problems as life stressors come out of nowhere. However, we are unable to do so. We must endure the crisis with the knowledge that we are not alone. Our neighbors, friends, and relatives are all having problems. That is why we must look past our own domestic strife and see if we can assist others. We may be strengthened by tragedy, so we can't get there on our own. Not only do we need each other and God to live, but we still need them to succeed.

We've got this. God bless each and every one of you.


You may also want to read more about COVID-19 here.