The outbreak of coronavirus is increasing stress and anxiety for all of us. We are in this together. NOLA residents aren’t strangers to trauma bonds; our community has come together in the past during trauma. COVID-19 is an international crisis and it is spreading quickly in New Orleans. Officials are urging everyone to stay safe and to implement social distancing for the good of our parents, our grandparents and the entire community.
We all feel the intensity of what is happening. It is normal to be anxious under these circumstances.
What can we do?
We can focus on the things that we can control.
- Stay away from crowds and public places to minimize everyone’s risk
- Think outside of the box. Jobs are being affected. Use this time at home as an opportunity. Rethink how you are providing services or products.
- Clean – Use your extra energy to clean. Clean out your junk drawer, your laundry room, under your bed. File those papers. Purge the linen closet. Organize your kids’ rooms and toys. Clean out the shed or the garage. Clean the back patio.
- Projects – This is a good time to engage in that project that you have been wanting to do. Do that woodworking project. Paint your room or fix that shelf. Projects are great distractions and they stimulate our brain. We also have a great sense of accomplishment when they are complete
- Gardening – Gardening is a sensory experience that grounds us in the present moment. It is also a healthy distractor. Re-pot a plant or plant an herb garden with your kids. Weed the garden.
- Creativity – Do that thing that you have been wanting to do. Write, learn to knit, pull out those calligraphy pens that have been sitting at the top of your closet.
- The great outdoors – It is really important for us all to get out. Fresh air enhances well being and health. Eat on the patio, sit on the porch, bring your kids on a walk or bike ride. Let them do their learning outside. Use sensory objects like chalk, rocks, paint, and stencils.
- Read – It is good self-care. It can be soothing and/or stimulating depending on the topic. If you have kids, read to your kids or have them read to you. Talk about books. What happened there? What do you think about that? What do you think will happen next. You will be spending quality time with your kids and they will remember it.
- Try to stay on a schedule. If you usually get up and work out, do that. Even if you aren’t going to the gym, go for a run or a walk outside.
- FaceTime – Many of us are socially distancing from our family members. This can feel disconnecting. Schedule FaceTime sessions with grandparents or your kids’ friends to stay connected.
- Group Texts – If you aren’t opposed to group texts, get on a group text with family members, cousins or with friends. You can share pictures, understanding, and just a lot of love. After all, we are in this together.
- Practice healthy self-talk – This is temporary. I am taking good care of myself and my family. I will get through this.
- Wash your hands with intention.
“Washing our hands is an act of love”
‘Washing our hands is an act of care”
“Washing our hands is an act that puts the hyper-vigilant body at ease”
Use this time to take good care of yourself and your family!