Charles Dickens famously wrote, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” Am I the only one who thinks we are currently living in the craziest of times? Opinions on the current fiasco we face vary widely, and I am not about to enter that realm in this post.
What I do want to focus on are some steps we can all take to minimize the impact of the Corona Virus on us individually, no matter what others may or may not do. I decided to write about this in a post devoted to CPR – Conflict Prevention & Resolution, because challenging times can negatively impact relationships at work, at home and everywhere in between.
First off, please fight the urge to panic. While we surely must take this virus seriously and exercise due caution, it might help to remember that in 2010 60 million Americans got the Swine Flu, and most of us barely remember that “catastrophe.” Again, please err on the side of caution, but I hope to share better advice than to stock up on five years worth of bottled water and three lifetimes worth of toilet paper, as some seem to be doing.
In terms of fighting off the virus, let me share what I believe to be some common sense thoughts, but as we all know, common sense is not always common practice. Also, since I am not an expert in this field, I’ll ask you more questions than I will give advice.
First, this might be a great time to take stock of your physical condition. Are you getting adequate rest? Are you exercising 3-4 times per week, both for strength and cardiovascular health? Are you eating a proper and immune-building diet? I recently listened to Brain Maker by Dr. David Perlmutter. He makes a compelling argument that the state of your gut will dramatically impact your overall wellness. Based on the Standard American Diet, often abbreviated as SAD, most of us have severe problems in this area.
How are you doing in your mental health? Are you focusing on positive inputs, and limiting negative ones? It is certainly not my place to judge, but research is clear that an overabundance of negativity will result in poor health. Are you spending copious amounts of time watching the news, learning every detail possible about the scourge that has befallen our world? How much of your life do you spend watching crime dramas depicting murder and all sorts of mayhem? Again, I have no intention of playing God and telling you what you should or should not watch. Just realize please that what you put into your mind will affect you positively or negatively.
On that note, are you spending time learning new skills such as a foreign language or playing a musical instrument? In my youth, I was taught that we only have a limited number of brain cells and that they do not reproduce. Modern science has put that notion in the grave. Your brain is malleable, and with the right inputs and stimulation, you stand a better chance of having a healthy brain leading to an improved immune system and even of warding off Alzheimers Disease.
We are hearing so much these days about “social distancing,” but that is dangerous in and of itself. While we may benefit from “physical distancing,” or “proximity distancing,” we need to interact frequently with others if we are to maintain a healthy state of being. Oh, I know people can be a challenge at times. That’s why I write this blog post. But unless you are among the very few who are real hermits, please do not disregard your social life. You need others, and they need you.
Next, how are you doing spiritually? I remember how, after 9/11, people went to churches and other houses of worship in droves. After the initial shock wore off, those numbers dropped precipitously. You may choose to ignore this aspect of life, but if you ask me, that would be a serious mistake. Why not use this present crisis to explore where you are Spiritually, by whatever definition or means you choose. Are you living as you want to live? Only you can answer that question.
And, lastly, how about your emotional state? Times like these are obviously stressful, and if we are not careful, they can turn us into emotional wrecks. So the next time you’re feeling all is doom and gloom, I challenge you to ask yourself how many people on this planet would trade places with you right now. You take their problems, and they take yours? If you’re honest, the answer would likely be in the billions. That should not make you feel any better about your current state, but it does add a bit of context to it, don’t you think? Trust me, this too shall pass, and life will go back to normal – at least until the next calamity comes our way.
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Ron Price MA is the owner/operator of Productive Outcomes, Inc. He has spent the last 30+ years as a mediator helping people resolve their differences with others. He provides workshop training and presentations on a variety of life skills. For more information visit www.PlayNiceinYourSandbox.com or send an e-mail to [email protected] or call Ron at 505 324-6328.