Covid-19 has been affecting our everyday life over the past weeks and months. Many of us have been experiencing self-isolation or have a loved one who is currently going through it. Coming from a naturopath’s and psychological perspective, I am sharing some inspiration and own experimental advice on how to deal with the anxiety, poor sleep, and tension.
I love being my own guinea pig, and I am writing here about my own experience and that of my loved ones, some of whom are in complete isolation alone at home. Let’s not forget that the human species is a herd animal, and for most of us, social and physical proximity is an integral part of physical and mental wellbeing. Being deprived of it requires us to make an extra effort to stay healthy, both physically, and emotionally.
You or your loved ones may have been experiencing the following:
Heated discussions with those close to you about the severity of Covid-19 and appropriate measures to curb it. This is a tough one. Personally, I found it helpful to remind each other that we care about each other and that we have a common objective: that as many people make it through safe and sound. Try to keep the discussion factual and consider limiting Covid-19 topics to a specific time of the day.
Overwhelming negativity of the news: try focusing on the positive aspects of Covid-19, such as getting closer to family members, whether you are on different continents or across the road (and still can’t visit each other) or acts of kindness. It may help to only check the news once a day or have one family member give an update so more sensitive persons don’t need to browse through the news. Alternatively, you could read the news while listening to some meditation music. Subscribing to the government’s news broadcast is a great way to stay informed without the drama.
Develop a new routine. Create a schedule for the day or write a list of things that you would like to get done during the time you spend at home – whether it is a home project, learning a new language or doing an online course (am currently working on setting up an online programme). Keeping your brain engaged and having a structure can be a powerful tool to distract yourself.
Connect with Mother Nature, whether through cooking dishes from scratch, planting some chilli seeds in a pot (they grow fast – gives positivity and hope), drinking a cup of herbal tea or use the benefits essential oils can have on the mind, ideally several times per day. Need some nature, but can’t go out? Ask a friend who has a garden or who can still go for a walk to bring you along by video.
Feeling isolated and lonely. From what I have seen, this is by far the biggest challenge for most of us. Not being allowed to leave the house and roam around freely without a clear end in sight can be very challenging. This is particularly tough for people who are used to distracting themselves with activities or people or are otherwise always on the go. Suddenly, we are forced to go inwards and are confronted with the maybe not so pretty truth about our life.
Whether you live alone or live with someone with whom you are not able to connect, try to stay in touch online or through social media with other people. Feeling isolated and lonely can weaken your immune system and therefore, it is crucial to feeling connected with other people. If you sense you need more support, consider reaching out to a therapist who offers sessions online. Many have shifted their regular sessions to online, including myself.
Economic and financial fears about your job or business are real. Depending on your job situation and level of financial security, the current crisis can be a real strain. Fear can make us immobile, hoping for the best. Even if it is uncomfortable, make a plan B or C. Talk about your financial situation to a person you can confide in. Maybe you can come up with a solution together.
Back pain can be caused by working on an uncomfortable chair in an improvised home office. Get up regularly, do some stretches, strength exercises or dance a bit to break up the day and release physical tension and discomfort from your body. Moreover, it is not uncommon that fears can impact your digestive system. Eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies can help, as well as some natural remedies such as cumin or other spices. Follow a daily exercise regime to keep your digestion moving.
Insomnia is a common sign that something is not going quite ok in your life. It is something most of us experience when we experience worries, fear and anxiety. Exercising at home, essential oils, yoga and meditation can help. If this is not enough, consider consulting a naturopath or other therapist to provide you with more specific tools and strategies to help you sleep better and deal with the underlying anxiety.
Any crisis can be an opportunity for huge personal growth. You might get a clearer picture about your priorities, connect with people on a much deeper level or find the courage (and energy) to make the necessary changes to get a better life…
Feel free to reach out, if you would like me to support you!
Jennifer Eisenecker is an ex-banker, German-certified naturopath, and business owner. Knowing how limited time and mind space often are, her recommendations are practical, easy to follow, and as simple as possible.
Jennifer’s multi-disciplinary approach involves going back to basics, looking at health from a trauma-aware perspective, and achieving health by calming down the nervous system to optimize your body’s innate ability to rebalance itself. She loves herbs and natural remedies.