COVID-19 has hijacked the world’s energy with intense catastrophic fear. How do you ease the anxiety of this pandemic? It is possible to be careful and take precautions without the mass panic. The hysteria leads to people buying all the toilet paper, hand sanitizer, face masks, and canned goods.
Let’s recognize that emotions are energy and stop feeding the apocalyptic fear.
Acknowledge that this a scary time and that your mindset has changed from living to survival mode. This can lead to an intense fear of the unknown and future. There may be feelings of hopelessness and despair. Some may experience feelings of insecurity with their jobs and finances. Social distancing can lead to isolation due to the withdrawal from everyday activities.
It’s also important to recognize that you are not alone, especially as we’re talking about social distancing. We need to create community bonds as more events are getting canceled. Create a list of people to check on every week or every other day. Create another list of people that you can reach out to if you find yourself struggling with symptoms of overwhelming depression and/or anxiety.
There is a fine line between staying informed and being exposed to a never-ending feed of information that may increase health anxiety. We need to be aware of the barrage of 24/7 media that brings information that hasn’t been filtered through fact-checking. Get your information from reputable sources like the World Health Organization or the Center for Disease Control.
Here is a list of ways that you can fight those overwhelming feelings when your health anxiety is activated:
- Catch up on some reading
- Facetime family/friends
- Take a free course on YouTube
- Evaluate your risk factors
- Make of list of action items
- Gather information from reliable sources
- Set limits on things that feel stressful
- Spend less time consuming media
- Practice mindfulness
- Sit with your feelings
I understand that with current events going on related to COVID-19 it may be difficult or impossible to come for an in-person therapy session. Many counselors/therapists and even doctors’ offices are offering appointments to be done from the convenience of your home. This allows you to maintain your social distancing and still receive treatment for any mental or physical health concerns. You are able to meet with a licensed mental health provider without having to find a babysitter for the kiddos, without having to fight traffic, and without having to sit in a waiting room eyeballing the poor soul who has allergies.
Video therapy/Telehealth is professional mental health therapy delivered via a confidential video conferencing system to your home, office, or even in your car on your phone. Video therapy is effective. In fact, the growing body of research into video therapy establishes the effectiveness of video therapy with results at least equal to traditional in-office settings. Video therapy works for couples too. Partners can be in different locations and “meet” with their therapist via video.
I am a fan of online therapy. Not only can I meet with clients from the comfort of home, but I can also meet with clients while wearing my furry slipper and sipping on my favorite hot beverage. I am also familiar with many other therapists who have been providing great quality counseling, and I’m happy to make referrals. Other options for online therapy are Talk Space and Better Help. Some services are not covered by insurance, so please contact member benefits if you are wanting to use your insurance.
*If you are feeling overwhelmed or not your typical self, please reach out to your doctor. Take care of yourself by sharing your feelings with those around you or by getting professional help.
Stay safe everyone! The upcoming days and weeks will be difficult, especially with so much going on that we don’t know. Take care of yourself and your family the best you can. Be patient with yourself and wash your hands! You got this.