Watching news reports of the coronavirus might make you feel like you have stepped out of reality and into a science fiction novel.Early news reports about COVID-19 spreading rapidly across China, then Europe and now the United States seem nearly impossible to believe. The number of COVID-19 cases around the World, in the US, and finally in our beloved Beaufort County can be very scary for people of all ages.
Many people feel a loss of control over the current situation. Everyday routines have been interrupted and people are unable see friends and even some loved ones due to the spread of the virus.
Simple things like having dinner in a restaurant, getting a haircut, going to church, going to the movie theater or going to the beach were taken for granted just a few weeks ago.
How can you and your loved ones best adjust to the lifestyle that has been forced upon us by the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus? For one, turn off the news!
Most TV and online news outlets cycle through the same stories over and over. Take time in the morning and evening to catch up on the news, but try to find other ways to fill your hours during the day. Instead of news watch a classic movie or a comedy – something to get your mind off the current situation.
Recognize that it is OK to be melancholy about the changes that are taking place in your life, but don’t dwell on it. Give yourself permission to be sad and cry if you need to, then dry your tears and move onto something else.
Get outside and enjoy the sunshine, get some exercise by walking around your yard or neighborhood. Read a book, put a puzzle together, call a friend or loved one, sharpen your cooking skills, or write a real letter to an old friend.
Try to stay positive and not dwell on the negative things happening in our world. Write down five things that you are thankful for each day, and read over your list before you go to bed at night.
Smile! Studies show that simply smiling can help change your attitude. Practice thankfulness each day and be kind to those around you.
Be diligent to limit your chance of contracting the virus. Limit trips out of your home to strictly essential trips only: the grocery store, pharmacy or a visit to your doctor.
When you do go out in public, follow the CDC protocols. The CDC now recommends that we wear face masks in public, and of course stay 6 feet away from others, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
For more guidelines and suggestions, visit CDC.gov.
Jennifer Redmond is the family care coordinator for Senior Helpers of Hilton Head Island. firstname.lastname@example.org.