The dictionary defines fear as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, capable of causing pain or threat. Along with these thoughts go many physiological hormonal processes that can affect your long-term health. If you have headaches, anxiety, digestive issues, and insomnia worried about Covid 19, elections, paying rent, bills, kids going back to school, going back to work, etc., keep reading. According to an article from the University of Minnesota, living under constant threat has serious health consequences. Fear weakens the immune system and can cause cardiovascular damage, gastrointestinal problems such as intestinal ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome, and decreased fertility. Long-term stress can even lead to accelerated aging and premature death.
I wonder why I would put my entire life on hold and self-quarantine for 5 months to avoid a life-threatening infection while consciously creating life-threatening hormonal changes in my body. My response to myself was “I wouldn’t.”
The opposite of fear is confidence or calm. No matter how much I need to focus on relaxation or calm, I’ve realized that I’m wasting this quarantine time if I don’t work hard to combat stress. According to the Huff Post, God actually commands us not to fear or worry at least 80 times in the Bible. Apparently, stress and fear have been around for a long time.
Added to the stress factors are the themes of Netflix and chill. Sitting for long periods is also linked to heart disease and diabetes. It can be as destructive as Covid itself!
I know that in my house if I am nervous, so is my husband and most importantly, our puppy. He crouches under me and watches movies too. So after the first month of lockdown where we had agreed to binge on a couple of our favorite shows with 5 seasons TWICE, we knew that some sort of mental/emotional illness would affect all of us if we didn’t agree. about plans to exercise or meditate together every day along with activities we do at certain times to mark the days. This is really a difficult time in life, isn’t it?
I can’t tell anyone what to do with their time, but I have been a coach for many years and I know that watching TV locked up for months is not good for anyone. Here are my suggestions.
First of all, weather and neighborhood permitting, walking every day is the best thing to do. If you are sick, 5 minutes a day is a good starting point. If you are young and healthy, now is a good time to set goals for some type of competition in the future. Why not? I’m old, but I’m considering a career in Corn Hole and Pickle Ball when this is over. I didn’t even know I was missing the sports competition until now.
I am an active QiGong practitioner, which is what brings me to a relaxed place after walking. I post a lot of videos and recommend going to YouTube for a lot of shows. I love Mimi Kuo Deemer’s lectures and classes (click). She is real! There is an 8 move routine called BaDuanJin that is also shown on YouTube and is a great daily practice. Actually, if you were to be interested in QiGong, there are millions of credible videos to learn from. I chose QiGong because I’m nervous and busy and sitting quietly while my mind screamed didn’t work for me at first. After practicing the movements while meditating, I find it easier to practice a sitting meditation.
It is imperative to take a moment away from our ongoing stressful situation. You have to take the time to do something, anything to prevent stress hormones from raising your blood pressure. Your own choice of music on headphones, sounds of waterfalls or the ocean, or even listening to relaxing music in your car are some of the things you can do. A hot bath, a nap, sitting in the backyard or anything to clear your mind for even 5 minutes a day will stop the surge of stress hormones and give you a minute to rest.
If you are out of a job and freaking out, I send you positive thoughts and prayers. I go crazy when I see politicians go home on vacation with no unemployment decisions made. Gone for a four day weekend? They have no idea that a hungry working person is checking the mailbox twice a day “just in case” anyway. That’s why I suggest you change the channel to funny pets for an hour or two. the less time you have approach in the news, the better.
Whatever you do, know that you are not alone here. Some people don’t give a #$%@ about us, but many do. If you need help with food, ask. If you need a higher credit card limit, ask. You may be surprised at what some companies are doing for people. There are good people out there who understand the situation Americans find themselves in.
The opposite of fear is curiosity, confidence, courage, or calm. Spend time talking to those you trust, satisfy your curiosity by taking a free online course, get out there and breathe! I might see you at the pickleball court. This nightmare will end. Take care of everyone.