By Ivy Algazy, CEO The Ivy Network, LLC
All of us are feeling the stress; mentally and physically. I am by no means an expert on how to get through a situation like this and being that this is early in the process, probably most of us are just trying to hang on. For me, I think the most difficult part is the unknown. Each day we find out more and more about the virus and how we can protect ourselves, but what no one can answer for us is when will this be over. When do we get to resume “normal” life or what will the new normal be?
For New Yorkers who went through 9/11, many of us had these same lost feeling and trepidation of the unknown. It seemed as if the world as we knew it was ending and became a world of “how will we ever get through this.” I am having those same feelings again now. I am drawing on my 9/11 experience, knowing that even though there is much uncertainty, we can and will get through this.
Yesterday was a lost day and I trying to pick up the mental pieces I lost over the barrage of news about closures and measures that our community leaders are taking to keep us safe. Governor Andrew Cuomo said that these measures are in place “until further notice.” The President said this could last until summer. This news is certainly very uncertain! So, how do we deal with this uncertainty? We worry; when and if we are will contract COVID 19, what will happen if we do, will I and my family survive? What about my finances? When will this be over?
By now, all of us have been several times to the supermarket and have stocked up on supplies. If you have children at home, you are setting up the home school space, making schedules and setting rules on how this will happen. You have upped your subscription to streaming services so that you have enough to watch, downloaded books to your device and perhaps even bought some board games and cards to play. For those working at home, you are setting up your home office. But here is where this becomes difficult… what happens when the best laid plans go on for weeks and you run out of work to do?
Experts tell us to make sure that we keep a daily routine. For some, you might need to write down your routine on your outlook calendar or old school with pen to paper, especially those of you who are home schooling children.
Here are some tips that can keep you rational, healthy and sane during this insane time:
- Mental Health: Right now, mental health is top of the list. This situation is playing with all our minds. I find it hard to focus, that is why today is my routine day. Reach out to friends online and by phone, you are not alone. If you are anxious, which most of us are, turn off the news! I know I get stuck watching and can’t stop. If you really get stuck, call your doctor and get help. Mental health is serious and situations like this can set any one of us off in a depression.
- Exercise: Make sure to incorporate exercise as well. You can find workouts online, YouTube or check with your gym. My gym, has an app complete with videos. Take a walk, breath fresh air and put on those earbuds and listen to the music. Music helps your mood.
- Diet: If you have the tendency to overeat, which is so easy when you spend all day at home and we have all loaded up on food, make a calendar for that as well. Put a note on the fridge not to overeat. And although it is 5:00 somewhere, don’t overindulge in alcoholic libations.
- Social: With facetime, chatting and social media, it is so easy to keep in touch with your friends, work colleagues and the world. But don’t over do it. Just like with your children, limit your online time as well.
- Mind: Keep your intellectual mind fresh. I found a website that offers free online courses from Ivy League Colleges www.edx.org. I am currently taking a course on women’s history. Read a book, don’t know what to read? Join an online book club: its social and group members critiques are helpful to fine the right book. Become an author! Start writing articles and post online.
I hope you find this helpful. For me, it was helpful just to put my thoughts to pen. If you have some additional tips on how to stay sane during this insane time, share in the comment section. Stay healthy, safe and sane! And remember, you are not alone.
By Ivy Algazy, CEO The Ivy Network, LLC