Worrying Never Changed A Thing

March 2020

They say that you can tell a lot about a person in times of heightened stress, and how they react to it and handle it in general. The current global pandemic is probably the most perfect example that I can think of and it’s something at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Whilst most people have gone into a complete state of panic, let me ask you this: Does worrying about a situation make it any better? Does complaining about it make it better? I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be vigilant during this time, but I am saying that running around and hoarding items isn’t going to make anything any better. Sure, buy what you need, but buying copious amounts of goods just puts pressure on the rest of the supply chain, and it just makes things worse. Yes, you read that right. All this panic buying is causing a problem. Seriously, the isolation period, should you get sick, is 14 days. How much tinned food, pasta, rice, tissues and toilet paper do you think you’re actually going to use during that time? And let’s be honest – who actually wants to eat copious amounts of food when they’re actually sick with a bad bout of the flu? You actually go to the toilet less during that time too. Tissues however – yeah, I can see how your usage of those would increase, but I’m struggling to see the reasons why you’d need SO much of everything else… especially when you could still order your groceries online for home delivery, or go the old school route of calling up a neighbour or friend to run to the grocery store for you, and drop off the goods at your front door.

In case you’re wondering, no, I have not gone crazy at the grocery store and stocked up on goods. I have the same amount of goods as I normally do in my house because quite frankly, I don’t have the physical space to stash much more than normal and I doubt that I would have stockpiled anything, even if I did have the space to spare. Why? Because whilst I understand the importance of being prepared, I also know that stockpiling and panic buying, will only cause more stress, which isn’t going to do anyone any good. Think about it for a minute. Apart from putting the pressure on retailers to re-stock their shelves faster, it’s putting pressure on the transport and manufacturing of those goods, and in turn, the resources needed to produce them. For the elderly who are actually the ones really at risk here, it reduces their ability to buy what they need, causing stress for them.

Now, it doesn’t take a genius to know that stress, especially stress extended over a period of time, weakens the body’s immune system, because you’ve redirected your energy to deal with the increased stress. That’s not something you want to do because a healthy and strong immune system is what you want right now.

You also want to keep in mind that even if you do catch the virus, you’ll probably get a mild version of it, and recover, like the thousands of others. And whilst we’re thinking about the positives, remember that getting it and recovering from it, is going to make you immune to it – kinda like when you take a flu shot or any other vaccine.

And can someone pull some numbers on other things that you can die from? I’d like to keep things in perspective and know what the statistics are for deaths related to domestic violence, different forms of cancer, other illnesses, etc. Yes, I know that the coronavirus is highly contagious, but if you’re healthy, you’ll be fine, so stop worrying. My mother spent her entire working career as a nurse in a busy major hospital, and her advice is to not stress about it. Eat good food, keep yourself hydrated, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and keep your stress levels down. And if you’re concerned about the state of the world, how about starting small and reaching out to family and friends, and checking that they’re okay? Or using this time to be grateful for all that you do have and spend some extra quality time with those that mean the most to you? This should be a time of gratitude and love, not panic.

So take a breath. Slow down. Stop worrying. The world is not going to end and you don’t want to be part of the problem in the meantime. Be prepared but don’t go nuts. Worry and panic never changed the outcome of anything. But grace, gratitude and love, can do wonders.

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