Let’s face it – there is a giant elephant in the room when it comes to health right now and its name is the Coronavirus also known as COVID-19. While it is still technically cold and flu season there is nothing like a pandemic to drive people’s panic into high gear. Whether you are super healthy or more vulnerable to contagious diseases, everyone has a heightened awareness right now about germs in general. Instead of embracing anxiety and panic let’s look at how we can find some peace and control in this issue. Let’s plan, not panic.

Reality is you are the biggest key player in your overall health. Everything you have been doing in the past has been leading up to how healthy or unhealthy you are today. Every food you’ve eaten, each hour of sleep you have had or didn’t have and every workout you sweated through or skipped. We are a byproduct of how we have treated ourselves and how we are here. So, if you are finding yourself worried that maybe you aren’t as healthy as you’d like, your first step is starting today! Start today by taking steps towards greater health by moving more, eating better, resting well and aiming to feel as energetic and healthy as you desire.

That being said, healthy or not we can all get sick. Whether you get COVID-19, the flu or even break a bone you might find yourself in a spot where your health and or well-being is compromised – so let’s plan. Say you have some type of situation where you might need to stay home for weeks or longer. Are you prepared? Here are some tips:

Create a social web of support. Map out now who you would call and when for certain emergencies. Who can pick up your kids? Feed your dog? Bring you home from the hospital? If you live alone or are new to the area these may take some creative thinking. Once you nail down who these people are, let them know. Let your coworker know that you are new to the area but if you needed a ride could you call on them? Ask your neighbor if in an emergency if they would be willing to feed your dog. Find a couple parents in your kids’ school whom you trust and talk about how you can rely on each other in a tight spot. Do this, and do it now! Get those numbers and put them in your phone or a place you can find in a hurry.

Stock up reasonably. We aren’t suggesting you need to fill every nook and cranny of your home with food but you will want to make sure you have enough items handy in the event anything happens: illness, power outages, etc. Think of things that you can make in a pinch! Canned soup is great if you have access to a stove or microwave, while canned tuna can be eaten cold. If you have kids think of things that you can feed them if you can’t run to the store for a bit: granola bars, dried fruit, nut butters, water, etc. Some foods are great to have handy but may not last forever like milk, eggs, cheese, etc. Just think of some staples that you can keep on hand if need be. Don’t forget pet food too! Other items you might not think about having on hand include: dish soap, laundry detergent, garbage bags, kitty litter, etc. Again, you don’t need to go overboard but even having just an extra in the pantry can give you the confidence that you know you have it if you need it.

Get nesting. Nesting is often referred to when someone is planning to bring home a baby. They clean the house top to bottom, get organized and make things comfortable. If you broke your arm tomorrow you might really appreciate having put away all that clean laundry today. Think of ways to keep your house in order on the daily so that if you were unable to do some chores for a while you could rest or heal in confidence.

Know where things are! If you are about to take a vacation or even just unable to get home do you know how to tell someone where your things are? Your birth certificates? Back up checks? Even just some spare clothes. Keep in mind where you keep things and try to keep important papers all together just in case. This is also good for you in case you need them on short notice. You won’t have to panic because you already have them in one safe spot.

Preparing for the worst or even just for a bump in the road may make you nervous, that’s normal, but also let it help you to feel empowered. Over obsessing about the worst isn’t healthy and won’t help you out in the long run, choose action over anxiety. There is something to be said about having a responsible plan for emergencies. There is no reason not to have a plan in place for lots of situations such as a fire, your car breaking down, a sudden trip and even COVID-19. Many of us think we perform best under pressure, but we also don’t want to be unprepared. As you plan ahead try to think of simple and rational ways to support yourself, your family and your pets just in case. As they say, “hope for the best, plan for the worst.” Let’s plan, not panic!


Mary Hoadley

Director of The Wellness Center