With all the news media reporting issues that are going on in the world, namely the coronavirus it can spread panic and create worry with people at an alarming rate, even more so if you struggle with anxiety, panic and worrying. So, this week I have decided to focus our attention on how to decrease your worry about this and to help spread good information. This is not intended to diagnosis or treat the health concern this information is to solely help you decrease your anxiety, panic, and worry.
When we worry, we are often looking to the future, and this future concern can really ramp up our thoughts, then let’s add in the media reporting on this every time we tune into it, quickly things feel out of control. To help decrease this worry we can do a few things:
1. Get factual information, be mindful that you are not getting information from fake news sources. The World Health Organization (WHO) is a great source and they can be found at https://www.who.int/
The Center for Diseases Control (CDC) is another great source and they can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/
2. Limit your exposure to the news, turn off news feeds or only check them once a day and then let that be it. Prolonged exposure to the same news feeds repeating themselves increases anxiety, panic and worry.
3. Chose to watch something not related to health concerns, no zombie or outbreak movies, pick a comedy instead!
4. Know your exposure to the health concern, are you someone who has a compromised immune system, COPD, heart and lung disease or diabetes, then you know you are at a higher risk, if not then you have a lower risk.
5. Use the precautions that are listed on WHO and the CDC to protect yourself, the following are the WHO recommendations:
Handwashing for 20 seconds
Hand sanitizer with at least 60 % alcohol
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
Avoid close contact with people who are sick if the COVID-19 is in your community
Cover your mouth for coughs and sneezes, do not hold onto tissues, discard of them immediately after use
Only if you are sick should you wear a facemask to protect others.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
6. Finally stay focused in the present moment, practice grounding and mindfulness skills to help keep your thoughts focused on things in the present if you are noticing that you are worrying, having panic attacks, or anxiety about the situation.