Be mindful of your thoughts and play some of your favorite music to help reduce your stress surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s easy, perhaps too easy, to get swept up in the panic that is washing over the globe right now. It’s a vicious circle really, your panic incites the panic of your friend/your mother/your girlfriend, thus inciting the panic of another, etc, and so it continues. Fear spreads similarly. As we attempt to understand both the effects and the possible fallout from COVID-19 pandemic, we also need to remain reasonable. I’m not saying it’s easy, anxiousness abounds right now, and some of it is well-deserved, but we also can’t allow our minds to be ruled by fear and circular thoughts about the Coronavirus. We can turn to a few reliable practices during this period to help soothe our collective anxiety, and one of those practices is: listening to your favorite song.
I definitely urge people to stay informed, but at the same time, know your limit. It’s all too easy to fall down a COVID-19 Internet rabbit hole, reading one article after another, and before you know it, you're utterly consumed by Coronavirus concerns, to the point that it can be debilitating. Google’s algorithm is made for this: the more COVID-19 news you read, the more it offers you in return, which won’t exactly help tame a wild mind. When your thoughts are entirely tangled up in a web of Coronavirus concerns, it can be difficult to escape; I’m sure we’ve all been there in the past week or two, perhaps even longer depending what part of the world you live. That being said, I think it’s important right now to actively disconnect or distance yourself from these types of negative thoughts that will ultimately get you nowhere-- stressing about the disease will not help you avoid COVID-19, it will only put a damper on your immune system. We know that stress affects your immune system-- whether it’s acute stress or chronic, long-term stress, both can lead to a compromised immune system. You want a strong immune system right now, especially.
We know, based on tons of studies, that music can help alleviate psychological stress (and it’s even been proven to reduce the experience of physical pain), however it can be difficult to force yourself out of your own head, especially when you’re deep in the midst of a stew session. I know my personal anxiety was reaching a peak yesterday, and so this morning, I took some time to actively listen (rather than passively, note) to LUV Vs. the World 2, as well as some Jay Electronica and some Rich the Kid (despite the shit-storm of a week we’ve had, thank you to all these artists for dropping new music!!) and I took notice of how it helped both my mind and my body relax; it came over me in an Aha moment. This was exactly what I needed. Music can not only offer a distraction, it offers an emotional connection, and that might be what’s really needed in a time like this, especially if you are alone in self-isolation, or if you are alone because you are without friends and family. Listening to music is a way of confirming: you are not alone.
The thing is, it doesn’t even need to be a super happy go-lucky song. You can listen to something that feels however you are feeling right now, even if it’s a song to commiserate with, it’s the connection that the artist offers, and the swell of music, that will ultimately feel soothing. If you’re feeling sad, then Jay Electronica’s “A.P.I.D.T.A.” might hit just right. If you’re feeling anxious, try something off Jhene Aiko’s new album (might I recommend “Tryna Smoke,” and perhaps follow her instructions). If you’re feeling lost, Lil Uzi Vert’s quirky “Moon Relate” might do the trick.
In addition to listening to music, now’s the time to consume reality TV (there are endless shows I can recommend, hit me up: Married at First Sight, 90 Day Fiancee, Love After Lock-Up, Love Is Blind...), and to adopt a meditation practice. Meditation sounds daunting and difficult, but it needn’t be, since nowadays there’s an app for everything-- with an app like Headspace or Calm, guided meditations will teach you exactly how to let thoughts pass you by, rather than swallow you whole.
What songs do you listen to when you’re feeling stressed? Let us know in the comments, we may put together a stress-relieving playlist! In the meantime, you can also peruse our collection of playlists on Spotify here.
We're sending peace of mind to everyone out there. Stay diligent and stay safe.