It is very difficult to not be concerned about the recent outbreak of COVID-19, otherwise known as a novel coronavirus disease. Not knowing how to deal with the coronavirus disease can also lead to an increase of stress and anxiety. It is important to keep a level head amid the pandemic. This article will provide resources and tips to help manage and control your coronavirus anxiety.
With daily reports in the news, posts on social media, and as the hottest topic to talk about, it is clear our minds are focused on how to stay healthy physically, but it’s also important to recognize that keeping a positive mindset and feeling in control, throughout this pandemic, is a key component to staying healthy. Much of what you think can affect your mental and physical health. If you have a positive mindset, your immune system will stay stronger. On the other hand, if you are constantly worried, have higher levels of stress and anxiety, you can trigger your flight-or-fight stress response. This response releases a flood of chemicals and hormones, like adrenaline, in your body which can weaken your immune system.
Get the facts: It is important to remain informed so we can get the latest most valid information on how to prevent ourselves from being contaminated. Also, it’s crucial that this information comes from a trusted reputable source like WHO (World Health Organization) or the CDC (Center for Disease Control and prevention).
Avoid information overload: The last thing that will be helpful is if you are paralyzed by all the information on the Coronavirus. It’s important to be vigilant about gathering information, but you don’t want to become flooded with too much information that you increase your fear, anxiety, stress, and adrenaline. Moderate your media exposure to 15 minutes at a time, 2 times a day. Balance your focus on what you can control in your daily life, what is crucial, complete the things you need to do and don’t forget to do things you love.
Follow official guidelines: With the latest news from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person who are in close contact with one another and through respiratory droplets produced by coughs or sneezes by individuals who are carrying the virus. Therefore, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. When out and about try to avoid close contact by putting at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and other people, and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (handles, countertops, doorknobs, etc).
Accept uncertainty: There is only so much we can control when it comes to the coronavirus. Therefore, if you can accept that there are a lot of unknowns and try to live with the discomfort, it will go a very long way to managing your stress and anxiety level during this outbreak. It is easier said than done, but if you get the correct facts, follow official guidelines, and take precautionary measures to avoid or minimize exposure this is the best anyone can do to not catch the virus.
Stay connected: In this day in age, we have the beauty of staying connected through the internet. Therefore, even though contact is discouraged to prevent contagion, we are still able to stay connected with our friends and family through Facetime, phone calls, and social media. Use these platforms to your advantage during this time to not feel isolated and alone.
Practice self-care: Strive for emotional balance and put your fears or concerns in check through meditation and mindfulness practices, seeking additional help, staying connected with friends and family and doing things you love.
Below are some helpful resources to help you manage stress and anxiety throughout this trying time:
Four-minute meditation by Kristin Neff
How to prevent panic attacks
Tips and Tools from The American Psychological Association
Talking to your kids about the coronavirus by Betsy Brown Braun
If you are seeking additional help and would like to start therapy, feel free to contact us through https://www.grouptherapyla.com
Article written by psychotherapists of Group Therapy LA. This private practice is for individuals who want to live the deeply fulfilling, authentic life they deserve!