Last updated on June 18th, 2020
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels
Over the past several weeks, people from all over the world have been shaken up by the novel threat we now know as COVID-19.
Although we might feel overwhelmed by circumstances surrounding the current situation, it is important to keep your head cool in order to reduce the less obvious risks that can encompass every part of our lives, if we are not careful.
The unprecedented outbreak of coronavirus is causing a widespread concern, fear and stress, all of which are, however, fairly common psycho-physiological responses to an extreme situation like this.
Yet, minimizing the amount of daily stress is crucial when we find ourselves in a lasting crisis.
- Protect the most vulnerable
Unfortunately, older people and those with underlying health conditions have been identified as the most vulnerable to COVID-19 effects, which can be extremely fear-inducing, and can possibly lead to worsening of chronic health problems.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) people who may respond more strongly to the stress during a crisis include:
– Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
– Children and teens
– Frontline workers helping with response to COVID-19 including health care providers and other emergency services
– People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use
Even though a certain degree of anxiety is expected in the context of a pandemic, it can increase the possibility of developing serious diseases in the future. Cancer, heart attack and stroke are among the most common illnesses occurring across all age-groups in Canada.
Therefore, reducing stress is of great importance to maintain your overall health, especially during the time of crisis. Stay informed and protect yourself and your loved ones!
- Use reliable sources of information
Remember, the information we absorb can affect how we feel. We should monitor what we read and watch with care. In order to limit the spread of unproven facts and misinformation you may use such news sources as the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization to get more reliable information concerning COVID-19.
- Set boundaries on news consumption
Limitation is the key to finding balance. Decide what types of media are most important to you and limit the rest. Then set a schedule for when you’ll access that media.
- Take a break
While it is important to stay adequately up to date, try to completely distance yourself from the news media for a short while. Information overload can aggravate reaction to stress and anxiety, especially when you are not certain of the trustworthiness of the news you come across.
Taking a break altogether can help dealing with stress and eventually improve your overall well-being.
- Understand your body’s fight-or-flight response
The Fight or Flight response is a physiological response triggered when we feel a strong emotion like fear. Fear is a normal emotion to experience in response to a danger such as COVID-19.
In addition, fear has a close relative we call anxiety. It’s fine to feel anxious in the face of a threat.
Our body’s fight-or-flight response is designed to keep us safe by alerting our senses and heightening our response to perceived danger. Part of that response is the release of stress hormones, which increase heart rate, blood pressure to improve overall alertness. Yet, being in a prolonged state of stress can very well lead to serious consequences for your health.
- The power of routine
Try to maintain your personal daily routine as much as possible or create new routines if circumstances change. It might include exercising, cleaning, daily chores, singing, painting or other activities.
You might find that morning affirmation can be helpful. Affirmations are positive statements that describe a desired situation or a goal that you want to achieve. Repeating these statements deeply affects the subconscious mind and triggers it into action.
- Protect yourself and your finances with an appropriate insurance plan
Long-term stress can increase the likelihood of developing a heart disease, while adding medical bills might become another concern of yours. Protecting yourself against such risks requires a solid financial plan, especially in the given situation. To reduce your financial concerns and potential budget setbacks you should consider getting Critical Illness Insurance.
Critical illness insurance can help provide financial support during difficult times, allowing you to focus on your recovery, if you happen to be diagnosed with one of the covered illnesses including certain heart ailments, stroke or cancer.
Not only it you can use the payout to cover costs not included in your provincial insurance provided by the Government of Canada, but you can use it as a temporary income replacement for any purpose you see fit.
Although there are quite a few companies that offer Critical Illness Insurance, one of the main advantages of going with Manulife’s Critical Illness Insurance protection is its Return of Paid Premium option that you can select at the moment of application. This feature allows you to get a 100% refund of paid premiums, if you don’t use your insurance.
As humans we desire total control over our lives, but in this situation it may not be possible. If you start feeling overwhelmed try to disconnect from what is bothering you physically and mentally. Play a board game, tackle a school or a work project, reorganize something or reach out to family members, friends and colleagues via phone, text or a video-call.
Remember to keep your head cool and plan ahead to protect your financial well-being from unforeseen emergencies!