How to Strengthen Your Personal Shield During a Crisis
Written by Catherine Dudun, NRS Intern
April 28, 2020
Every day we use shields to protect us from harm. For example, when we’re online, we shield our computers from viruses by using antivirus software. When we’re in a car, we wear a seatbelt to shield us in case we’re in an accident.
People also shield their emotions from others during difficult situations. So, the meaning of a shield can be very different for each individual and for each situation.
Shields offer protection not only physically but emotionally, socially and spiritually. Strengthening your shield is important during any crisis but during the current COVID-19 pandemic it is even more so.
Here are a few ways to strengthen your personal shield during this time of crisis:
PROTECT YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH
- Eat a balanced diet
- Get plenty of sleep
- Avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Limit close contact with others
- Wash your hands often
- Wear a face mask when going out in public
- Stay up-to-date with the CDC’s recommendations
PROTECT YOUR EMOTIONAL HEALTH
- Be creative
- Practice deep breathing
- Take breaks from watching/reading/listening to the news
- Reach out for help if you feel anxious, sad or alone
PROTECT YOUR SOCIAL HEALTH
- Connect with loved ones via video chat, call, text, or mail
- Talk with people that you trust about your concerns and how you’re feeling
PROTECT YOUR SPIRITUAL HEALTH
(Spirituality is a broad term that may have a unique meaning for each individual)
- Attend a virtual faith service
- Incorporate prayers into your daily routine
- Practice community service.
If you or someone you know is struggling to strengthen their personal shield during the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Runaway Safeline is here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With the nation’s largest database of youth services, we also offer referrals to affordable and accessible resources such as shelter, food pantries, mental health services and more. Call us at 1-800-786-2929 or chat with us at 1800RUNAWAY.org for free, confidential support. We’re here to listen. We’re here to help.
You can learn more about strengthening your personal shield from Module 3 of our Let’s Talk: Runaway Prevention Curriculum. This free, evidence-based, interactive curriculum covers a wide range of topics, such as communication, healthy relationships, stress reduction, and internet safety for youth ages 10-20.