“We cannot always control everything that happens to us in this life, but we can control how we respond.” ~Lionel Kendrick
The coronavirus is no longer isolated to just China. It’s here, affecting over ninety countries, and it continues to spread worldwide with new cases popping up daily. It’s all over the news and there is an inescapable sense of anxiety, stress, and uncertainty.
Just within the last week, there were over fifty confirmed cases in the Bay Area, where I live. Am I scared? Yeah, especially for my elderly parents who are already immune-compromised. Anxiety thrives on uncertainty. And these are some very uncertain times.
But then I am reminded to be mindful, not swept away by the constant news stories, office chatter, and Facebook stories bombarding my external environment. Being mindful doesn’t mean ignoring or avoiding the situation at hand. It means being present, aware, and discerning with all that is going on with the spread of the coronavirus.
Here are some things that help me stay grounded and mindful:
1. Be prepared for the things that you can control.
We don’t have control over what happens in life, but we do have control over how we choose to respond. So how can you choose to respond to this outbreak? You can choose to react to the news, be driven by fear, causing anxiety and stress—or you can choose to be better prepared. Here are some examples:
Physical Precautions: You might have trouble finding hand sanitizer, clorox wipes, masks, and other such supplies, but you can still wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Social precautions: You might want to avoid or limit huge social gatherings. Switch to phone calls and video calls, to stay connected with friends and keep your sense of community.
Relationship/Family: Discuss with family members extra precautions needed for their safety. Talking to your parents, older relatives, and children about the importance of handwashing and some (or all) of the other precautions listed here.
I (with the tag team effort of my brother) finally convinced my elderly parents to cancel their upcoming international trip. When we were able to communicate our concern from a place of love, not control, my (stubborn) parents were more receptive.
Work: Discuss with your boss the possibility of work-from-home options, and make sure you have the necessary equipment and tools to work remotely.
Finances: There is a possibility that you could be asked to stay home and…