“Stay healthy” is the message we are all hearing so this week’s blogs will be tips on how to do just that – one per day for 7 days.

The obvious ones are eating well and exercising – in fact, I’ve NEVER seen so many people at my local park at 6.30am in the morning… it was like Pitt Street!  I’d like to start with the less obvious ones, so today let’s start with how you THINK.

Your thoughts can determine your health just as much as what you eat or drink, how much sleep you get or how much you exercise. It’s perfectly natural to feel anxious at the moment because our whole world has changed.

The best way to combat that anxiety is to keep as much normality and routine in your life as you possibly can.  Exposing yourself to new bulletins around the clock does not give your brain a chance to switch off and send any good chemicals through your body.  Staying focussed on positive things can be really helpful – consider putting pen to paper and actually making a list of them. Many people have lost their jobs and the future is uncertain but to stay healthy there has to be some time in each day where you give your mind a rest from worry if you possibly can.

For some of us, seeing the worldwide suffering of those less fortunate than us is distressing in the extreme. It seems the first world has come to believe that there should be no suffering in life, that as humans we deserve everything to go well and be easy. The current crisis shows us the fault in that thinking.  Perhaps we can stop and listen for a moment to the wisdom of the Buddhists that says, simply, “life contains suffering”. If we can accept that, then perhaps we can see a light at the end of the tunnel and then plot a path to walk calmly towards it, helping each other along the way.

This week try these simple steps:

  • One news bulletin per day.  Seriously, one is enough. If things change someone will tell you.
  • Make a conscious effort to switch off the bombardment of media.
  • Listen to uplifting music the rest of the time.
  • Find a mantra to say to yourself when you feel worried… like “we’ll get through this”.
  • Every time you hear the words coronavirus or covid-19, take a deep breath and let it go, slowly.
  • Keep your routines going to keep life as normal as you possibly can.
  • If you have more time on your hands than you did before, do something creative.
  • Once a day, every day, make phone call or send a text of support to someone who is alone.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about sleep.

Hope you get some tonight…

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