With all the uncertainty and isolation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no shortage of bad news to read. And if you’re one of the more than 3 million Americans facing unemployment, the last few weeks have likely been stressful.
Which means practicing self care is now more important than ever. But how exactly can you do that when there’s so much negativity in the atmosphere?
We asked a medical expert to find out.
Dr. Malika Siker is an Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and the Associate Dean for Student Inclusion and Diversity at Medical College of Wisconsin. She has been particularly active on her Twitter page since the pandemic began.
She offers the following five recommendations for staying positive and practicing self-care, in her own words. She also shares more about these guidelines in our interviews below.
- Stay calm: It is quite literally a “pandemic” right now but academia and public health are filled with brilliant people who have spent their adult lives studying this scenario who are advising us. We are pulling together as a society and doing unprecedented things like suspending ALL basketball, in March of all months. We are spending time educating ourselves and being an advocate for the vulnerable.
- Keep a positive, growth mindset: We will get through this. We will learn from this. We will make positive changes in the way we live our lives because of this.
- Focus on what you can control: In addition to the most critical areas of social distancing and hygiene aimed at decreasing the spread of germs, there are so many other things you can control. Make intentional choices with the greater good in mind. Instead of complaining, be a helper and work on solutions in your area.
- Take care of yourself and your loved ones: Life is continuing despite this pandemic. Check in on yourself and use the extra time in ways that are meaningful to you. Be present in the moment for your loved ones to connect, cry, and laugh.
- Do what you can to help struggling businesses: The short- and long-term effects of this pandemic on global and local economies are mind-blowing. With no end date in sight, businesses need our support to continue running at all costs more than ever. We are going to need these businesses to help put the economy back together when this is over so let’s get creative in ways we can support them.