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The Pandemic Response (Part. 3): People Helping People

In the past month the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated the news 24/7. It’s very interesting to see the human response to this crisis.

Breaking Apart and Coming Together

Regardless of what background you’re from, humanity is breaking apart and at the same time coming together. 

Some people push others out of the way at the grocery store, however there are people helping others in need and work together with them to achieve a common goal. 

I’ll be discussing how people are helping other people in the COVID-19 crisis.

What Are The Benefits of People Helping People?

It’s interesting that there are many benefits derived from helping other people. It’s not only a benefit to the people you are helping, but it can benefit you as well.

Volunteering your time to help other people has been linked to improved happiness, health and sense of well being.

Health benefits derived from volunteering include reduction in chronic pain, lowered blood pressure and a mental boost from connecting with your community while social distancing.

People Are Helping By:

Helping Neighbors Under Quarantine: It’s easy to fall back into old habits when you hang out with people who are perpetually negative and bring you down every time they’re around. I’ve learned to associate less with people who bring me down and associate with people that are upbeat and build me up.

Volunteers Donating Blood: All over the world there’s a blood shortage being made worse by the COVID-19 lockdown, blood drives being cancelled and people being afraid to make donations due to the fear of catching the virus. Despite everything that’s been going on many COVID-19 survivors are donating blood plasma to help seriously ill patients fight the virus.

Donating To Local Food Banks: The massive lockdown put in place to fight COVID-19 has caused mass layoffs and led to a high demand for food aid. I saw a news story about a food bank in Texas that served 10,000 families in a single day, which put a huge strain on their food supplies due to huge demand. Food banks across not only the United States, but across the world are under a lot of stress, so a lot of people including myself are making donations to local food banks. 

Engineers Offering Aid To Hospitals: When the pandemic began in March Italy was hit hard by COVID-19. Hospitals were experiencing shortages of not only PPE, but also important disposable ventilator parts such as venturi valves. An Italian start-up called Isinnova figured out how to reverse engineer venturi valves and then manufacture them using a 3-D Printer. 

Volunteers Making PPE For Medical Staff: The global demand for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) due to the ongoing pandemic has caused a severe shortage of items such as face masks for medical staff. Volunteers have gotten together under the guidance of the  CDC (Centers For Disease Control & Prevention) to sew masks.

Have You Ever Volunteered Your Time?

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If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the button below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

Source:

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/03/18/good-and-beautiful-things-ive-seen-amid-coronavirus-pandemic

https://www.asme.org/topics-resources/content/coronavirus-update-engineers-to-the-rescue

https://www.upworthy.com/san-antonio-food-bank-swamped

http://www.forthoodsentinel.com/living/covid-19-pandemic-causes-blood-donation-shortage/article_a66dda02-7364-11ea-9921-1be5db86de13.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-survivors-keep-up-the-fight-donate-blood-plasma-to-others-11585733401

https://www.dartmouth-hitchcock.org/patient-education/sewing-masks.html

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Keeping Mind and Body Healthy: Coping with COVID-19 Anxiety (Part.2)

I mentioned in Part.1 how the COVID-19 pandemic is a difficult time for everyone, particularly those who have issues with anxiety and anxiety disorders. I’ve been living with chronic anxiety long before this crisis started, but I’ve learned how to manage it in a holistic way. I’ll be sharing with you how I’ve been coping with COVID-19 anxiety.

I don’t have the luxury of working from home and I’m an essential worker, so it’s important for me to stay healthy and take a proactive approach toward my health by not only protecting my physical health, but my mental health as well.

I mentioned in my previous post about the mind-body connection; our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes can have an effect on our overall health. How you cope with anxiety is very important.

Ways of Coping Include:

Attempt To Maintain a Routine: This pandemic has thrown my normal routine off and it’s difficult to stay focused. I’ve been using block scheduling to maintain a routine for not only work, but also for exercising and for writing this blog.

Focusing on Breathing: Just simple breathing works its magic on anxiety. Taking deep breaths while meditating calms your brain down while you’re focusing on the present moment.

Exercise: An excellent way to maintain a good mind-body connection is to get moving and exercise. Since the gym is closed and I don’t want to risk getting bit by ticks by walking in the woods, so I’ve been taking time after work to take long walks while social distancing.

Watching What I Eat: I mentioned in a post about how there’s a negative connection between processed foods and mental health, and that it’s really important to watch what you eat.

Recommended Foods To Reduce Anxiety Include:

  • Turmeric
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Green Tea
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Almonds
  • Blueberries
  • Turkey Meat

Food To Avoid include:

  • Fried Foods
  • Artificial and Refined Sugars
  • Caffeine
  • Soda
  • Foods High in Sodium

Getting Enough Sleep: Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep is important, pandemic or no pandemic, because when you don’t sleep well you not only have worsening anxiety, but also a weakened immune system.

Putting Limits On How Much Media I Consume: The 24/7 news coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic will take a toll on my mental health and at the same time I need to stay informed about what’s happening, so it’s beneficial to limit how much news media I consume.

Limit alcohol consumption: In the short term having a drink or two is relaxing, however overtime excessive drinking can interfere with the chemicals in your brain that regulate mental health and cause worsening anxiety, depression and stress becomes harder to handle.

Connect with Friends Remotely: One of the most difficult aspects of this pandemic has been lockdowns and social distancing. Once a week I like to get together with friends to go hiking; I get my exercise and I socialize. However, due to social distancing I haven’t been able to go, so I connect with friends remotely through texting, social media and phone calls.

This is a tough regiment to live by to keep chronic anxiety under control and this challenging time we’re living in is making it even tougher.

How Are You Coping With This Tough Time?

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If you’re struggling with anxiety please click on the button below to download my free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-cope-with-coronavirus-covid-19-anxiety-psychologist-2020-2#use-the-time-to-reach-out-to-loved-ones-and-reconnect-with-old-friends-10

https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/mental-health/alcohol-and-mental-health/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-foods-that-reduce-anxiety#section7

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Keeping Mind and Body Healthy: Coping with COVID-19 Anxiety (Part.1)

By now we all heard of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). It causes cough, fever and shortness of breath and it’s now causing a worldwide pandemic.

As the pandemic unfolds, we are all experiencing a wide range of emotions from mind anxiety to serious panic. This is a frightening time, some people have already been affected by coronavirus while others are waiting in fear about what’s coming next.

It’s natural to feel anxious about the fear of the unknown that this pandemic is bringing, but this is a very difficult time if you have an anxiety disorder.

Coping With An Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety helps us prepare to respond in a more adaptive and healthy way. Some people can tolerate some degree of discomfort and can manage their anxiety in a healthy manner, because overtime they’ve learned healthy coping mechanisms.

However, there are other people with anxiety disorders that have more trouble coping with this frightening time. If you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) you’re already suffering from chronic worrying that leads to catastrophic thinking and leads to increased anxiety and prevents you from taking action in an actual crisis. 

Symptoms of Anxiety

Common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Feeling Nervous
  • Having a Sense of Impending Doom
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Breathing Rapidly
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Feeling Weak
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Weakened Immunity

Anxiety and the Mind-Body Connection

I’ve written in this blog about the mind-body connection; our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes can positively and negatively affect our physical health. 

An example of this connection is the relationship between anxiety and your immune system; There’s evidence that too much anxiety can weaken your immune system. It puts stress on your body and releases the stress hormone cortisol, which is intended to be nature’s alarm system that activates your fight-or-flight response. 

Cortisol weakens your immune system by weakening beneficial antibodies in an attempt to reduce inflammation when you’re under severe stress and it’s been known to move resources from other immunities such as T cells and white blood cells.

During this pandemic it’s very important to take a proactive approach toward managing anxiety and your overall health.

In Part.2, I’ll be discussing how I’ve been managing my anxiety during this crisis.

How Are You Coping With COVID-19 Stress and Anxiety?

Please Like and Comment!

If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the button below to download my free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/coronavirus-anxiety.htm

https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/immune-system