Our world has changed dramatically over the course of a few short months. Instead of getting out and connecting with others, most people are stuck at home with only their TVs and computers as lifelines to the outside world. Doubts and worries about COVID-19 are bound to take an emotional toll, especially if you already struggle with anxiety.
While it’s normal to be afraid in this time of uncertainty, you are not powerless. If the coronavirus has caused you or someone you love to experience intense anxiety, here are a few tips that can help you get through this stressful time.
Your Emotions Are Normal and Valid
The outbreak of coronavirus has impacted almost every aspect of our lives. Anxiety about the disease can lead to a variety of overwhelming and strong emotions. If you or someone you love are experiencing fear, sadness, anger, distress, or loneliness, these and other strong emotions are completely normal and valid in times of crisis.
Hope is a powerful tool. Just as this disease will pass, so too will your intense feelings. Remind yourself and others to process your emotions and allow them to run their course.
Stop Feeding Your Fear
From social media to news coverage, it seems that all anyone talks about is COVID-19. Yes, it’s vital to stay informed. You need to know what’s happening so that you know how to do your part to slow the spread of the disease. Obsessively checking the news, however, will not do you any good. You are bound to feel overwhelmed by the amount of information and misinformation that’s out there.
Instead, limit how often you check for updates and rely on trusted sources like the Centers for Disease Control or your local authorities for the best information.
Get Out of the “What If” Spiral
For many people, the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 is one of the most difficult things to handle. The disease is a vague threat, and it’s hard to know how you’ll be impacted or how bad things might get. These uncertainties can get you into a mire of “what if” scenarios that can easily spiral out of control. Do your best to push these thoughts aside. There’s no point dwelling on things you cannot control.
During this pandemic, maintaining our connections is a key part of our emotional and mental health. Social distancing has made this nearly impossible. The good news is, even when you’re physically isolated, you can take advantage of technology to continue to foster your meaningful relationships. Call your family, video chat with your friends, and use social media to check in with others. As you do, don’t let coronavirus dominate your conversations.
Focus On the Things You Can Control
While things may feel out of control right now, there are certain things you can control. Consider the following:
- Learn how to lower your personal risk by following CDC guidelines such as proper handwashing techniques and wearing a mask in public.
- Take on a home improvement project.
- Learn a new hobby you’ve never had time for before.
- Focus on fostering healthy relationships.
Be Aware of Your Own Mental Health
While some amount of stress and even distress is normal during this time, be sure to keep tabs on your overall mental well-being. If you find yourself feeling hopeless or you’re struggling with severe anxiety or depression, speaking with a mental health professional can help guide you through this time.
The team at Taylor Counseling Group is available to patients in Texas through our tele-health services. If you need help dealing with the emotional aspects of COVID-19, schedule a tele-health appointment today.