Free Resources To Help During COVID-19
There are so many free resources to help during COVID-19 around at the moment. It’s really heart-warming.
I have been amazed by the generosity of people and organisations since the coronavirus became a blight on our globe.
I’ve seen everything from free yoga sessions to free meditations to free seminars on surviving isolation.
Disasters Amplify Our Humanity
As with most times of crisis, we are seeing the best (and the worst) of people.
I am choosing to focus on the best.
With that in mind, I have decided to open up some more compassion for those who are displaying selfish and thoughtless behaviours, being abusive to service providers (and young supermarket staff!), or who are being racist towards people who have Chinese heritage or are Chinese.
I summon this compassion by remembering that fear is guiding a lot of people at the moment. We are all feeling it, to different degrees.
Coronavirus Fear Responses
If you are anything like me, you are cycling through feeling okay to feeling a bit (or a lot) freaked out. I find that about once a week I feel overwhelmed by all the sadness, the deaths, the missing out on XY or Z that means a lot to people, the worry about my own people, and the general anxiety that comes with not knowing what will happen next.
I have discovered that my best antidotes to this feeling of pandemic overwhelm are my usual practices of twice daily meditation and daily exercise. And, when things are really feeling bad for me, I focus on what I can do for someone else.
Focus On Helping Others During The Coronavirus Pandemic
With helping others as my mission, this week I recorded a how-to video to show others a technique for self-soothing on the spot (scroll down!).
I also made soup for two of my elderly neighbours – one Christian, one Jewish. This was fun as I discovered I can make chicken soup for one, and the same chicken soup for the other and just add matza balls! Et voila – I catered for both with one recipe! It also meant I learnt what matza balls are made of (matza meal and egg) and that I can create these.
The take-home? I don’t need to learn a new language to gain a sense of accomplishment from the lockdown (my goals are easier to reach than that!).
Some Of The Best Free Resources To Help During COVID-19
Back to the free stuff.
There is a plethora of great “coronavirus survival” resources available and I thought I would link to some of those here, so that you have them on hand.
The resources I have chosen have been well-researched to aid with stress and anxiety, to calm our central nervous system, and to soothe our souls (okay, that’s more anecdotal evidence, but give these things a try and see if you don’t feel better…).
Free Online Yoga Classes
For free online yoga, Yoga with Adriene offers 30 days of yoga starting with beginner classes so that you can ease your body into some pretzel shapes without injuring yourself. Her Yoga for After Disaster class is especially soothing and she also has an entire playlist called Yoga for Uncertain Times that is so very helpful right now.
Yoga has been shown to decrease cortisol (the stress hormone) levels and soothe our central nervous system.
Free meditations are available at Headspace. Mediations are between three and 10 minutes and there are a few to choose from so that you can stay engaged.
Peace Out has some great meditations for kids, who are probably finding all the changes, the isolation, and the absence of their usual routine pretty tough to deal with. Meditation also reduces the stress hormone cortisol, and has also been shown to reduce Beta waves in our brain (which means we are relaxing deeply).
These are great meditation resources, and I hope you try them out.
Australian Psychological Society: Loneliness and Social Isolation in the Time of COVID-19 Online Event – Thursday April 23, 2020, 8pm AEST
For those of you who live alone, or are not especially connected to others in your home, this can be an especially trying time.
The Australian Psychological Society has recognised that loneliness and isolation are real issues for many people. The APS has pulled together a free public event which you can register for here.
I suggest you take a look and please, pass this on to any of your friends and family who might be interested. It doesn’t happen until the 23rd of April, which I am guessing is by design as by then we will all be sick and tired of wearing PJs to work and talking to the pot plant!
Free eBook: How To Respond Effectively to the Corona Crisis
Russ Harris is a generous man and he is also an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) guru (and he taught me). He has offered his eBook, Face COVID – How to Respond Effectively to the Corona Crisis as a free resource. I suggest you take a look. This advice will help move you out of complaining and despair and into a more functional space where you can effectively respond to your current life and its challenges.
My Video: Self-Soothing Technique For Anxiety and Difficult Emotions
And not to forget, here is a video I made of a self-soothing technique anyone can do during the COVID-19 crisis or whenever they feel overwhelmed.
This simple technique is an EMDR method for relieving distress. It replicates what occurs in the body during the REM phase of sleep, when we do most of our emotional processing.
Again, please feel free to share this with anyone you think may benefit from it, but don’t forget to give it a go yourself.
What are some of the best free resources to help during the coronavirus pandemic that you’ve come across? I would love to hear what helpful offerings you’ve discovered so that I can share them with others. Let me know in the comments below!