By Laura Miller
If you’re anxious about surviving the global pandemic COVID-19, you’re not alone.
Coping with the anxiety associated with a global virus is completely out of most of our depth of understanding.
At the palm of our hands, we are receiving updated information of virus-related deaths and infected celebrities approximately every ten minutes. Quite frankly it’s frightening. For this reason, the reactive nature of what we are seeing on social media, in our grocery stores, and even with our loved ones, is something that we’ve never experienced in our lifetime.
As a harbinger of hope, I’ve contacted some experts who specialize in coaching their clients/patients through anxiety and depression in hopes that they can help us from screaming about the end of days all over social media. Here’s what they had to share.
Devon Estes, M.S., LPC or Licensed Professional Counselor:
- The key is to challenge our fears with the evidence.
- Follow the recommendations and guidelines of real sources like the CDC, WHO, and looking at the practices of other quarantined countries.
- Avoid memes and social media banter; it’s misleading and emotionally provoking either to over-respond or under-respond.
- Err on the side of caution within reason and don’t wait for someone to FORCE you to be cautious. One of the best anxiety management techniques is doing the thing that’s causing us stress.
- Shop for what you need for 2 weeks or so, devise a plan, create safer habits. Worst case scenario you are over-prepared, when has that ever been a bad thing? Once you have prepared, practice the DBT opposite action skill.
- Do things that produce emotions opposite of fear: Relaxing, calming, and joyful activities such as reading a book, working out, watching tv, playing games, crafting, cooking, etc. Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to become a recluse. Practice safe habits and do what you can while you can. One day at a time.
Baron Stewart, Mindfulness Meditation Coach:
This is a time in everyone’s life where mindfulness can unbelievably be helpful.
With the rise of stress and anxiety in people across the world, having the ability to calm oneself down to a state of peace and tranquility is absolutely necessary. It all begins with taking a deep breath! Deep breathing can naturally transition the mind from an emotional state to a logical state of mind. By becoming conscious of each deep breath, we can become conscious of each thought.
We can choose a new thought and feeling of our choosing! For example, someone can substitute a feeling of “I’m scared” to “I’m thankful”. After each deep breath you would repeat in your mind, “ I’m thankful”, and with the power of repetition, you will change your thought process and bring yourself to peace. Let’s all come together and become mindful of our breathing and mindful of our power within!
Many of us have survived things in our lives that within those moments we didn’t think we could recover from. Let this be one of those things that catapults you into a renewed understanding of self.
We are keenly aware of the severity of this virus and as always please adhere to the health and safety guidelines precautions by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Laura Miller is a Freelance Writer, Event Coordinator, and Project Manager who has always used creative expression to promote joy and laughter in a world bogged down with serious people, and serious situations. She is a “dreamer and a planner,” and truly believes that without both, you should stay asleep. Follow her on Twitter at : @80sbaby_83.