Think Beyond Physical Health
In this unprecedented climate, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by fear and anxiety. Now, more than ever, it is important to care for yourself and others physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Anxiety about COVID-19 can lead to a social stigma and discrimination toward people associated with the illness. Stigma is hurtful because it creates anger and fear toward people and could subject them to social avoidance, rejection, denials of their needs (employment, housing, health), and violence. This can include those who have traveled, emergency responders, persons of Asian descent, and those who have been released from quarantine. It is not only the time for personal safety but also kindness and empathy.
Examples from CDC on how to combat stigma:
- Speak out against negative behaviors, including negative statements about groups of people, or exclusion of people who pose no risk from regular activities.
- Be careful to only obtain and share accurate information about how the virus spreads.
- Be cautious about the images that are shared and that they do not reinforce stereotypes.
- Engage with stigmatized individuals and groups.
- Thank healthcare workers and responders.
Mental & Physical Health
Fear about the outbreak and the overall impacts can be overwhelming. The CDC offers the following examples in taking care of yourself:
- Take care of your body with exercise.
- Take deep breaths and stretch.
- Eat healthy, well balanced meals.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Do activities that you enjoy.
- Connect with others – talk to people you trust about your concerns and how you feel.
- As much as we want to stay in the know about the outbreak, it’s ok to take a break from it for a bit.
Although we are spread far and wide, from Wilmington to Raleigh to Durham to Virginia to Utah, this is an opportunity for us to find creative ways to stay connected with one another. We have some ideas below.
- Search the internet for workouts to do at home and exercise tips to stay moving. You can work out together with a group over video!
- When conducting virtual meetings, turn your video on as much as possible. This allows us to see one another and read body language.
- Cocktail (and Mocktail) hour can be done virtually through Teams, Skype, or other virtual connectivity tools.
- Netflix offers “party” viewing functionality so you can watch a movie with friends while maintaining a safe distance.