I’m taking a break from our regularly scheduled MarieTV because I want to touch base with you, heart to heart. ? This coronavirus pandemic is real. A lot of folks understandably feel afraid, confused, overwhelmed, and uncertain.
I’m here to help.
First, wherever you are in the world, I hope you, your family, and loved ones are safe. ?? I’m in Los Angeles with Josh and Kuma. We canceled our upcoming MarieTV shoot and all upcoming travel. We’re prepared to hunker down inside for the next 4-6 weeks, or as long as needed. I’m determined to do whatever I can to help flatten this damn curve.
I put together this blog post to:
- Tell you about all the good things happening right now.
- Share resources that can help you or someone you know get through this coronavirus crisis.
- Get you strong so you can lead and help stop emotional contagion: the spreading of stress, fear, panic, and anxiety.
I have every confidence that as long as we pull together, we’ll make it through. The stronger we are in our mental, emotional, and physical self-care, the more healthy we will stay. And the healthier we stay, the stronger we’ll be for our families, friends, coworkers, and community at large.
The social distancing that so many of us are practicing right now doesn’t have to feel isolating, stressful, or unbearable. In fact, it’s necessary. The more we can stay home and stay put, the faster we’ll move through this coronavirus crisis.
Here’s what Jess, a member of our community and physician assistant on the front lines, wanted us to know. Bolding is mine.
“Please do your part and give us a fighting chance. Stay home. Wash your hands. Don’t come to the ER unless it’s an absolute emergency. Help us help you. And if you have a friend or family member in medicine right now, send them a message to tell them you’re thinking of them. It really helps when you’ve tested your 3rd COVID19 PUI of the night.”
This is a time for humanity, creativity, connection — and yes, even humor.
Not every section below will apply to your situation. That’s 100% okay. Take what works for you and leave the rest.
Our community spans the globe. We’re blessed to have beautiful, big-hearted humans in 195 countries from different faiths, backgrounds, ethnicities, life situations — and health and socioeconomic realities. As we’ve seen, different nations and states are at various stages of working to manage and mitigate this public health crisis.
Know that I see you. Team Forleo sees you. We’re here for you.
Use these links to skip to the section that best serves you:
- How to Manage Your Stress, Fear & Anxiety
- Hotlines, Crisis Centers & Resources
- Funny, Inspiring, and Feel-Good Moments
- Work From Home… And Actually Get Things Done
- How to Stay Active Without the Gym
- How to Educate & Entertain Your Kids
- How to Stay Emotionally Connected While Social Distancing
- For U.S. Citizens, Updates on Unemployment & Mortgage Services
- 6 Ways to Serve Your Community
How To Manage Coronavirus-Related Stress, Fear & Anxiety
When things feel out of control, the best place to start is YOU. We know that stress lowers our immune response, which is the exact opposite of what we need right now.
Here are some MarieTV episodes on fear, stress, and anxiety that will help you cultivate a calmer, stronger, healthier mental state.
If you’re struggling with the negativity around you, watch:
- How to Turn Negative Vibes Into Positive Fuel
- 4 Simple Questions That Will Reverse Any Negative Thought w/ Byron Katie
- How To Move Ahead When Everything Sucks
Stressed out about life, kids, money, work, health and… everything? Watch:
- How to Write Your Way Out of Feeling Stressed
- 2 Ways To Stop Stressing Yourself Out
- Marie’s Personal Meditation Practice - free audio download!
We could all use some courage right now, and these episodes will help:
- 2 Habits That Build The Courage To Keep Going
- How To Respond When Things Fall Apart
- How To Build Unshakable Inner Strength Using Your Brain w/ Rick Hanson
Hotlines, Crisis Centers & Resources
We know that for many people quarantine life isn’t about Netflix, snacks, and memes — and that isolation, stress, and sudden changes to daily life can be triggering.
If you’re struggling, please know you’re not alone and help is truly a call or click away!
Here’s a list of hotlines, crisis centers, and resources in different countries to help you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy during this time.
- Crisis Text Line is a non-profit that provides free crisis intervention via SMS message, available 24 hours a day, in the US, UK, and Canada.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — Call if you are in need of free crisis resources for you or a loved one.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline — If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can talk confidentially so a trained expert advocate over text or on the phone, 24/7.
- The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline is available 24/7 for folks living in the U.S. and Canada and has interpreters in over 170 languages. The hotline offers confidential crisis intervention, information, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources.
- National Eating Disorders Helpline can help you get the support, resources, and treatment you need.
- SAMHSA offers ways to get help and treatment for those in need of substance abuse and mental health services.
- SAPTEL is a Crisis Intervention Hotline open 24 hours.
- Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) — This is a directory for finding different crisis services online or in your area.
- International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) for Africa — Use this site to find different resources and crisis centers.
- International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) for Asia — Use this site to find different resources and crisis centers.
Australia & Oceania:
- Lifeline is an Australian charity that provides 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
- International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) for Oceana — Use this site to find different resources and crisis centers.
- International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) for South America — Use this site to find different resources and crisis centers.
UK & Europe:
- NHS offers a number of helplines and options if you’re experiencing a personal crisis.
- Refuge offers a National Domestic Abuse Helpline for anyone who needs support and services.
Additional Mental Health Resources:
We have an entire library of inspiring, educational episodes to help you tackle any business, creative, or emotional challenges. Make sure you’re subscribed to The Marie Forleo Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify as we’ll be doing a lot more on the podcast in the coming weeks and months.
Funny, Inspiring, and Feel-Good Responses During the Coronavirus
Did you know that research shows laughing is proven to reduce stress and improve your immune system?
Here are some IG posts that are brightening my day:
- Some people are taking group workouts to a whole new level in Spain.
- This group sing-along in a Copenhagen apartment complex is… EVERYTHING.
- Doctors and nurses dancing to keep spirits high in Tehran.
- Neighbors play music together from balconies in Sicily.
- After her performance was canceled, Lizzo did a 30-minute mass meditation on Instagram, her mantra for the day being, "Fear does not exist in my body. Fear does not exist in my home. Love exists in my body. Love exists in my home."
- Miss the treadmill at your gym? This guy has it figured out.
- And… saving best for last — we are in love with this kitchen “DJ” genius. Can we please talk about those hip thrusts?
If you’re looking for feel-good accounts to follow, here are some of Team Forleo’s favorites:
Join Me Live On Instagram
If you want to stay in touch during this time, make sure you’ve turned on notifications from me on Instagram. My plan is to do more impromptu LIVE check-ins with our community.
Now for more tactical help. We’ve heard from people all over the world who are struggling to work from home, keep their kids educated, entertained, stay active, etc. The positive side? There are scores of businesses, organizations, and everyday folks who are rallying together in response.
Work From Home… And Actually Get Things Done
Team Forleo and I have been working remotely since Day 1, so we’ve got tips and best practices on this topic. I packaged some of our go-to’s in these MarieTV episodes:
- 6 Ways To Stop Interruptions When Working From Home
- 3 Steps To Retrain Your Brain So You Can Be More Productive Than Ever
- 5 Ways To Beat Burnout & Increase Productivity
**Are you a freelancer in need of some training or work? This article on The Drum will show you which companies are hiring, where to find educational resources and how to get support as a creative entrepreneur or freelancer.
If your company is new to working remotely, these resources offer some quick (and cheap) ways to get started:
- GoToMeeting is offering free Emergency Remote Work Kits to help businesses transition to working remotely so your team stays productive and connected.
- Zoom is providing additional resources in light of the Coronavirus. They offer free lessons on how to use their tools and video conferencing to collaborate effectively with team members.
- Loom is a tool Team Forleo uses all the time for training, announcements and communicating via screen share. Loom just announced that they’ve cut their prices, removed limits, and made their tools free for educational purposes.
For those living in the United States, there’s some good news about working from home. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a “Keep Americans Connected” pledge that dozens of top broadband and telephone companies have already signed. By signing this pledge, companies are agreeing that for the next 60 days, they will:
- Not terminate service over failed payments.
- Waive late fees.
- Open up Wi-Fi hotspots to any American that needs them.
How to Stay Active & Keep Exercising Without The Gym
Staying physically active and getting regular workouts is critical right now. Working out keeps your immune system strong and your state of mind clear, calm, and stress free. I cannot stress the importance of staying active and strong enough! Here are a few resources to make sure you stay moving.
- DownDog App has made all their apps completely free until April 1st. You can choose from hundreds of at-home yoga, HIIT, Barre, and 7-minute workouts.
- Glo is offering free online yoga, meditation and pilates workouts to help deal with anxiety.
- Workout for Women app: I personally use this app and love it. It’s simple. You don’t need any equipment. Plus, they make it super easy to get in a 7-minute workout.
- Yoga with Adriene offers amazing free yoga classes on YouTube, and is welcoming to all abilities and body types.
- This article from Glamour lists 31 of the best free fitness apps to try.
- Ryan Heffington, a well-known dance choreographer in LA, is leading scheduled dance parties on IG Live for folks who are quarantined.
How to Educate & Entertain Kids That Are Suddenly In Your House — All The Time!
We have lots of working parents on Team Forleo who are experiencing a new, chaotic normal with school and daycare cancellations. They’ve all pitched in creative ways to keep those kiddos happy, healthy, and engaged while you all hunker down at home.
Here are some at-home learning resources and activities:
- Other Goose is offering its charter school-approved curriculum 100% free for the next 3 weeks.
- PBS Kids Videos are offering on-demand educational videos and a livestream of the PBS Kids 24/7 channel free with no subscription. Also, check out their education game app!
- Yummy Toddler created a great list of advice for feeding your family during a crisis, including how to freeze milk and greens, store produce so it lasts longer, recipes to make ahead, plus toddler activity ideas.
- Some more fantastic tools for online learning: Scholastic Parents - Printables, Scholastic Parents - Activities, Seussville, TinkerLab, BrainPop, KiwiCo, and Khan Academy - Math.
- Scholastic offers projects and at-home learning for kids of all grades. These are projects your child can do with you or on their own.
- Drawing Resources: Art Hub for Kids and Hello Wonderful.
- KQED is offering free at-home learning resources for children and youth in the state of California. This includes television broadcasts with time slots dedicated to each grade level.
- If your kids are asking you questions about the coronavirus, you’ll love this comic and podcast that NPR just released for kids to learn and enjoy.
When in doubt, turn to YouTube! There are channels for:
- Educational songs: Singing Walrus, Jack Hartman Kids Music Channel, and Harry Kindergarten Music.
- Science: The Dr. Binocs Show, SciShow Kids, and Crash Course Kids.
- Movement: Cosmic Kids Yoga and GoNoodle.
If you are worried about food because your family no longer has access to school-provided meals, here are some options to look into:
- Check with your local school district. Some schools are preparing to-go meals for pick up.
- Contact your local food bank or food pantry program.
- Look into local CSA programs. Many farmers are arranging special pick-ups for folks who need it.
How to Stay Emotionally Connected While Social Distancing
Social distancing during coronavirus doesn’t have to mean total isolation or feeling lonely. Technology offers countless ways to stay connected to your family, friends, and community.
- NextDoor has quickly become an essential way to connect with your neighbors while you’re hunkering down inside. You can connect with others, check in on the vulnerable around you, and if you have extra supplies or an essential that someone else needs, you can drop them at your neighbor’s door.
- Facetime, Skype, and Zoom hangouts: sounds obvious I know. But most of my dearest friends and family do not live in the same place. We have coffee dates, lunches and hangout time regularly.
- Netflix Parties. This Chrome plugin lets you watch your favorite Netflix show in tandem with friends, making you feel like you're at a slumber party from the comfort of your own home.
- Take a virtual field trip! Watch sea animals at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, go on a tour of the Louvre, explore Yellowstone National Park, or hop on over to the Van Gogh museum.
- This is a fantastic blog post written by a cancer survivor who spent nearly 9 months self-isolating last year and has some great tips on how to stay happy, healthy, and connected to the people you love.
For U.S. Citizens, Updates on Unemployment & Mortgage Services
The US Department of Labor announced new guidance on unemployment insurance flexibilities during the coronavirus outbreak so that more people are able/eligible to apply for these benefits. Here's a post about it. Since states administer their own unemployment insurance programs, they'll vary a bit, but all comply with federally established laws so you should reach out to your state's unemployment insurance programs if you’re suffering from lost wages and reduced hours from the virus.
The Federal House Finance Agency has encouraged mortgage servicers to create individual loan forbearance/relief programs during the time for people who can't make their payments due to coronavirus. While that landscape will continue to change daily, anyone struggling to pay their mortgage should reach out to their servicer to find out what options they have. There's a Forbes article on that here. And here's the official FHFA announcement.
Ways to Serve Your Community During the Coronavirus
At a time like this, we must keep the most vulnerable top of mind. Lots of communities have been hit extremely hard and we need to offer all the help we can. (And if you’re one of the people who needs assistance, please tell us in the comments how we can help. We’ll continue to update this blog post with resources as we get them.)
- Donate to your local food bank. If possible, money is better than groceries. Why? Because local food banks can often buy food in bulk, helping them purchase more food at lower prices.
- Keep paying people if you can. Can you keep paying your kid’s daycare or house cleaner? Or if not the full rate, perhaps a portion? Can you order via Instacart or use Shipt? If you have the resources, this can be an incredible way to support your local community.
- Post on Nextdoor offering to do grocery shopping for those in your neighborhood who are at-risk.
- Buy gift cards from local businesses to support them now while they’re strained or at risk of closing for good.
- Support your artists. Patreon held a Weird Stream-a-thon to raise money for artists financially affected by Covid-19. You can contribute to this fundraiser via PayPal here, or apply to receive support here.
- Help others stay safe. I posted about this on IG for folks who are wondering how to get the food and supplies they need without risking further exposure to or the spread of COVD-19. Josh and I have a little station at our front door with wipes and cleaning materials etc. as well as in our car if we need to go out. This is not about fear. It’s about facts, science and the simple things we can do to stay healthy and do our part to help our fellow citizens. If all of us do this (and stay home) it really can make a difference.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but I hope it gives you ideas and resources to stay calm, creative and healthy as we move forward. You have a tremendous and important role to play in how this global experience plays out. A strong, healthy, and calm YOU will have a powerful effect on those around you.
In the words of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Before you go, I’d love to hear from you. How are you doing?
Are there any feelings or concerns that you haven’t had a safe place to express? We’re here to support you. If you’re willing, we’ll do our best to help you transform any sense of panic into grounded preparedness, problem-solving, and purposeful action.
And/or — if you’ve found something funny, inspiring, or helpful that you want to share, leave a comment below. We’d love to hear about that too.
If you’ve spent any time around these parts, then you know I take a strong stand for kindness. Please write and respond to each other in that same spirit.
With all my love,