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Health and Wellness Amidst COVID-19

by Mike Trudell
Lakers Reporter

During what’s a difficult time for people in Los Angeles, in the United States and all over the world as we try and cope with the COVID-19 situation, the NBA has provided a series of tips that may help towards taking care of our mental and emotional well-being.

Below is a summary:

Get the Facts
It’s really important that you’re going to the right places to get your information. After all, getting inaccurate or misleading information can lead to more anxiety, fear, and panic. So, where to go? The CDC & WHO websites have the latest info about COVID-19 so you can stay in the loop:

CDC’s COVID-19 Info Sheet
CDC Fact Sheet No. 2

Focus on What You Can Control
Your basics here: hand washing, social distancing, and knowing when or if to seek treatment. Trying not to speculate about the future can help with managing fear and allows us to do our part in helping to contain the spread of the virus. It’s not just about you, but about all of your fellow citizens. Lots of sports metaphors apply here, such as Frank Vogel and LeBron James’ constant message throughout the season to focus on the present and only think about that day’s opponent. The rest will come.

Stay Connected to Friends & Loved Ones
I’m sure we’ve all had plans we’ve had to cancel with friends. What about a virtual friend date? Get in touch with your crew on a group chat on your iPad, and hang out that way. Or try to break my Facetime record of calling my mom in one day during COVID-19 self- quarantine. Just because we shouldn’t hang in person for the time being doesn’t mean we can’t text, e-mail, call, etc. for comfort and reassurance purposes. In 2020, people sometimes seemed startled by phone calls with all the texting and social messaging we do … but hearing someone’s voice can be a most welcome sound at the moment!

Take Care of Your Mind
A few strategies for emotional wellness: breathing exercises, mindfulness (e.g., Headspace app), writing down your feelings and experiences, doing something creative, engaging in a spiritual practice, or identifying things you’re grateful for and allowing space for your feelings (e.g. fear and anxiety) without judgment. Or grab a book, listen to a podcast, or share your favorite TV shows to stream:

Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus:
I tried to explain what I know about COVID-19 to my 5-year-olds the other day, and they responded with a blank stare, and a sprint to the kitchen to try and sneak cookies before I got there. So, perhaps I should refer you to the Child Mind Institute’s guide: CLICK HERE.

Among their points: kids worry more when they’re kept in the dark, so talk to ‘em … even if it seems like they aren’t listening!

Mental Health & Coping During COVID-19
Here’s the link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) section on this topic: CLICK HERE.

Take Care of Your Body
We know that people with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to the virus. But they also say that prolonged or chronic feelings of stress can weaken immune systems in relatively “healthy” individuals. So, we all have to maintain physical health. The obvious ones: proper nutrition, sleep, and exercise. Here in the NBA, we have plenty of examples of healthy individuals doing physical activity!

Keep Things in Perspective
The NBA guide says “During this time of ongoing uncertainty, we must maintain our humanity and come together.” Tough to argue with that! We’ll get through this eventually, and showing kindness, care and compassion as opposed to shunning or blaming others can help!

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