Have you noticed your anxiety levels rising around the COVID-19 outbreak?
Do you find yourself worrying about what the illness means for you, your family and your friends?
Are you struggling to adapt to the ever-changing news stories, event cancellations and economic fluctuations?
You’re not alone. We’re all in this situation together: sharing the same worries.
The American Psychological Association has recently offered some strategies for managing the inevitable stress and fear that arises in situations like these where there are so many unknowns. Check them out:
Five Ways to View Coverage of the Coronavirus
New reports about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, becoming more widespread are making some people anxious. Here are some tips to help you manage your anxiety, put news reports in perspective and maintain a positive outlook.
- Keep things in perspective. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that the number of confirmed infections in the U.S. is extremely low. The fact that there is a great deal of news coverage on this issue does not necessarily mean that it presents any threat to you or your family.
- Get the facts. It is helpful to adopt a more clinical and curious approach as you follow news reports about the virus. To that end, you will want to find a credible source you can trust. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a webpage dedicated to information on the coronavirus outbreak. You may also find useful information from local or state public health agencies or even your family physician.
- Communicate with your children. Discuss the news coverage of the coronavirus with honest and age-appropriate information. Parents can also help allay distress by focusing children on routines and schedules. Remember that children will observe your behaviors and emotions for cues on how to manage their own feelings during this time.
- Keep connected. Maintaining social networks can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. Feel free to share useful information you find on governmental websites with your friends and family. It will help them deal with their own anxiety.
- Seek additional help. Individuals who feel an overwhelming nervousness, a lingering sadness, or other prolonged reactions that adversely affect their job performance or interpersonal relationships should consult with a trained and experienced mental health professional. Psychologists and other appropriate mental health providers can help people deal with extreme stress. These professionals work with individuals to help them find constructive ways to manage adversity.
For more ideas about coping with the emotional toll of COVID-19, check out the American Psychological Association’s Help Center.