Staying Healthy, Mind Body and Spirit, During the Corona Virus Crisis

St. Anthony Regional Hospital Psychiatrist, Amy Canuso, D.O., offers inspiration as well as helpful tips and sources as we navigate through the COVID-19 virus crisis together.

posted on 3/18/2020 in Feature

Amy Canuso, D.O.People around the world are being asked to practice social distancing and isolation as a measure to slow the spread of the corona virus. You may feel anxious or worried about yourself and your family members. Being out of our routine can cause sadness, boredom or loneliness. You might even feel anger and resentment due to the loss of freedom. You are not alone, and there have been other times on our Nation’s history when communities had similar uncertainty. During World War I and II, The Greatest Generation made sacrifices. They grew victory gardens, rationed supplies, and shut down lights at night for fear of bombing. They thought of the greater good.

Now your Country is asking you to sacrifice for the greater good. These measures of isolation and distancing are meant to slow the virus surge. Remember how stores ran out of toilet paper? We want to prevent running out of medical space and supplies and protecting our neighbors. Take a breath and remember you are part of a community that needs your help.

Be assured, there is hope. By being open to online resources, and taking a fresh approach, you CAN make it through this experience knowing that you did your part to help your community. You may even learn something new along the way. We are all in this together. We got this!

Life Strategies

  • Maintain a routine for kids and adults. Get up as usual and go to bed at the same time. Make a daily schedule to include activities for your mind, for exercise and for fun.
  • Limit news consumption and stick to reliable sources.
  • Find activities other than TV: read a book, find a recipe and cook something new.
  • Watch a nature documentary. Get out a board game. Work a puzzle. Spring clean or clean out a closet for donation later when crisis ends. Try a new Podcast on iPhone or Android.

Health Strategies

  • Maintain healthy habits. Exercise and eat healthy food.
  • Avoid alcohol and nicotine. While this may seem like an all clear to have happy hour all day, this could lead to depression, addiction and making it more difficult to fight an infection!
  • Try an online exercise or yoga class.
  • Walk your dog twice as much as you normally do, or just walk around your block multiple times a day on a schedule.
  • Play music and dance. Good for body and spirit!

Spirit Strategies

  • Be realistic about your concerns and focus on what you can do and accept what you can’t.
  • Start a gratitude journal and write something you are thankful for every day.
  • Try an online meditation class.
  • Write a letter to yourself and discuss your experiences and thoughts. This is a historical time and future family members will want to know what this is like for you!
  • Make a list of relatives/ friends and call or Face Time, one every day. Share your feeling about this crisis. Comfort them; let them comfort you.
  • Look up an old friend you have been meaning to call or write an email. Call up a neighbor that may be isolated just to check in.
  • If going to the grocery store, call an older or disabled neighbor and ask them what they need, you can leave it for them on the porch.
  • Most churches are offering online services. Many are offering opportunities to help others while still maintaining a healthy distance. Call a local pastor for info.

We are all in this together, so including human connection and helping others (safely) is a key tool to maintain good health.

Try Something NEW

Here are some resources that may help you stay emotionally, physically and intellectually stimulated in the next few weeks.

Open Learn is a free online university that offers FREE classes (about an hour each) on a wide variety of subjects. https://www.open.edu/openlearn/subject-information

Carroll Public Library:  If you have a library card you can access books, magazines, movies and music http://www.carroll-library.org/ Look under the tab "Our Collections"

Did you know there are streaming free online performances daily by big name celebrities?

The C.A.R.E. Channel is giving our community free streaming service through May! Go to the link and put in code. Sit back and enjoy beautiful scenes of nature and mediation music! Follow link https://stream.carechannel.net   then put in code iowa20

You Don’t Have to Miss Church

First United Methodist, St. John Lutheran, Carroll Church of Christ, Central Church, Carroll First Assembly, Renew Covenant and St. John Paul II Parish will all have streaming services. Check their webpages for details

Take a Virtual Tour of Museums around the World:  https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours

Need help with sobriety? Find an online or phone in AA meeting: https://aa-intergroup.org/directory.php

CrossFit Carroll will have a daily online exercise session with video demonstration. No equipment needed you can do it in your home https://www.facebook.com/crossfitcarroll/

CorePower Yoga is offering free online classes:  https://www.corepoweryogaondemand.com/keep-up-your-practice

The Cincinnati Zoo is offering up close live streaming animal safari experiences every day at 3pm EST: http://cincinnatizoo.org/home-safari-resources/?fbclid=IwAR0R0h_UrdiDGdT11MnBdHjsEIMfDu1FPB2cMY8MZu6gS1NSh5TsRDWOiH4

Calm and Headspace apps are offering a list of stress and anxiety reducing mediations for free: https://www.headspace.com/meditation/meditation-for-beginners or https://app.www.calm.com/meditate

Other Helpful Links that may be Useful:

Not sure how to talk to your kids about Corona Virus? The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has an excellent resource:  https://www.aacap.org/App_Themes/AACAP/Docs/latest_news/2020/Coronavirus_COVID19__Children.pdf

And here is a very cool comic that explains this crisis in kid friendly terms: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/03/07/811616161/kids-around-the-world-are-reading-nprs-coronavirus-comic

National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) also has a very comprehensive resource page:  https://www.nami.org/getattachment/About-NAMI/NAMI-News/2020/NAMI-Updates-on-the-Coronavirus/COVID-19-Updated-Guide-1.pdf?lang=en-US

We Got This Neighbors!!

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