This week on the podcast I had the opportunity to interview our Psychologist at Performance Medicine, Dr. Robyn Branca, on the impact that COVID-19 is having on people mentally and emotionally.

 

I would encourage everyone to go listen to the interview, especially if you’re dealing with some anxiety like so many are right now.

 

One thing we talk about in the podcast episode is how we have a culture of fear, and that the situation with COVID-19 is really bringing that out.

 

People have come to believe that the more they worry the safer they will be. Sometimes we even associate worry with love.

 

“If I just worry enough, I’ll be okay.”

 

Because COVID-19 is bringing this culture of fear that already existed out to light, we can use it as an opportunity to improve in that area of our lives.

 

I talk a lot about how this is a wake up call for us to get healthy NOW, and take care of our health.

 

It’s really important that we take this pandemic seriously.

 

It’s also a wake up call for us mentally and emotionally, because that’s a huge part of our overall health!

 

The Coronavirus is scary for a lot of different reasons, but we are going to get through it.

 

So, how are we going to get through this?

 

One of the things she talks about is being realistic about your particular situation, financially as well as your physical health. What can you do right now to deal with that?

 

If you have to go two months without pay, how are you going to get by? What adjustments can you make?

 

Once you’ve made a plan and have a strategy, then you can move on and make the best of this situation.

 

My favorite part of the interview with Dr. Branca was at the end when she shared her top ten list of things we can do right now to decrease anxiety and fear during COVID-19. Below is that list.

 

Dr. Branca’s Mental Health Checklist for COVID-19 
1. Turn off the news. Give yourself 5 minutes a day to keep up with what’s going on, but that’s it. That’s all you need.

 

2. Get mindful. Get right in the mind. Take this time to reevaluate your priorities.

 

3. When you start to get fearful, ask yourself what is the likelihood that this thing I’m worried about is actually going to happen. We know that the vast majority of people who get this aren’t going to die from it.

 

4. Use this time to realize that so many of us have been scared of the wrong thing for so long. Ask yourself what you should really be afraid of?

 

5. Get a routine going. Unstructured time is your biggest enemy right now. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Make time to exercise. Have a set time to get your work done. Have a set time to be with your family.

 

6. Serenity prayer. This is a great time to revisit this and meditate on it.

 

7. Eat well.

 

8. Exercise (Yoga for example).

 

9. Be thankful. Write in a gratitude journal. One practical tip for this Dr. Branca mentions is naming three things your thankful for before going to bed.
10. Practice not worrying by learning to focus on other things. This is a great opportunity to see where your lives are. You can evaluate different ways to do your jobs. You have more time with family right now, so evaluate that part of your life. Put your energy towards these things instead of worry.

 

I would encourage everyone to listen to this interview on the podcast. There’s so many takeaways for everyone.

 

Take care of yourself so you can take care of others.

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