By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
You may have lots of feelings about the coronavirus, the new virus that causes a respiratory infection. I know that I do. It is easy to fear what we don’t know, and judging from reports of people emptying shelves of toilet paper and antiseptic supplies and the sharing of my own clients and others I work with, there is a lot of fear and tension out there.
As a health professional in my corner of the world, I am charged with the responsibility of protecting my clients and caring for myself. I also strive to act as a role model about how to act and respond at times of stress.
I’ve already altered several of my habits, such as washing my hands much more frequently and thoroughly and practicing how to refrain from touching my face, a key way that the virus spreads. I'm also touching elevator buttons, door handles and other public places with my scarf, paper towels or tissues instead of my fingers.
First, breathe and stay calm.
The regular flu – influenza – kills thousands of people each year. However, fear seems to travel faster than the actual virus and we are challenged to take practical steps to protect ourselves and our community while staying calm and alert.
Then, can we look at the virus with a curious eye? I like this meditation that I found on YouTube that nudges me to move away from fear and towards curiosity.
Next, breathe and stay calm.
There are many actions that you and I and all of us can take for prevention of transmission of this infection.
Then, breathe and stay calm.
My priority is keeping my immune system as strong as possible. I follow the work of Deanna Minich,an internationally recognized teacher, author, scientist, speaker and artist who has more than 20 years of diverse and well-rounded experience in the fields of nutrition and functional medicine. These are her key points in strengthening the immune system:
Remember to breathe and stay calm.
With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggesting that we physically distance ourselves from other people who may be sick, avoid traveling, crowds and events, we risk feeling isolated, which can increase anxiety. Let's all keep looking for ways to connect with each other while taking practical measures to keep safe.
Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP, is an author, trainer and psychotherapist who promotes, practices and teaches experiential methods including psychodrama, Family and Systemic Constellations, sand tray, mindfulness and Tarot imagery.