Chapter 4 | How to Maintain a Healthy Mind and Body during a Pandemic - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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How to Maintain a Healthy Mind and Body During a Pandemic

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Things to remember when trying to understand an influenza outbreak or pandemic:

  • It is normal to worry about yourself and your family’s safety.
  • Everyone is touched by an influenza outbreak or pandemic.
  • Grief and anger are normal reactions.
  • Focusing on your strengths will help you heal.
  • Everyone has different needs and different ways of coping.

Common Reactions

Common reactions that may occur during an influenza outbreak or pandemic could be:

  • Difficulty talking, sleeping, walking, and concentrating.
  • Increased irritability.
  • Depression, sadness, mood swings, and crying easily.
  • Feelings of helplessness.
  • Worries about loss of income and job protection, especially if asked to stay at home for an extended period of time.
  • Concerns about those who depend on you for care.
  • Fears of separation from life activities.
  • Feeling a lack of control, especially when control is entirely in the hands of others.
  • Increased boredom.

How to Stay Healthy

How to keep healthy when staying at home:

  • Learn as much as you can about flu, and be aware of normal reactions during an influenza outbreak or pandemic.
  • Keep to your usual routine, as much as possible.
  • Have activities on-hand that can prevent boredom (games, toys, etc.)
  • and keep your mind active.
  • Keep your living space as comfortable as possible.
  • Get plenty of sleep, try to exercise, eat healthy, and relax.
  • Establish a family emergency plan that includes where to meet if you become separated, and important phone numbers.

Pay Special Attention to Children

  • Let children know it is okay to feel upset when something scary happens.
  • Encourage children to express feelings and thoughts, without making judgment.
  • Enjoy your child and take part in activities together.
  • Turn off the TV and radio, especially if the news makes you worried. If you are worried your child can sense it.