More helpful suggestions from Dr. Linda Edelstein and the American Psychological Association:
When we imagine (with no evidence) that a virus is roaming our streets and we have a strong reaction, that is anxiety. When we know that a virus is roaming our streets and we have a strong reaction, that is fear.
It is not crazy or neurotic to feel some fear with our pandemic, but it’s an awful way to live, so here are some strategies to reduce the fear and stress.
- Stop for a moment and ask what you are afraid of.
- Examine those fears and and be realistic.
- Assess your ability to cope (psychologically, financially, physically, etc)
- Do everything in your power not to catastrophize.
- Focus on what you can do (stay in, wash your hands….)
- If it is your style, keep a gratitude journal. If journaling isn’t your thing, set aside a few moments (I usually do this while I walk to work) to remember all the things for which you are grateful.
- Consider doing at home yoga, mindfulness, relaxation. You can get a lot for free on youtube, apps, and the internet.
- Get back to your guitar, painting, reading and all those things you kept saying you wanted to do.
- Learn something new online.
- Indulge in some humorous videos – hilarious virus videos are circulating.
- Rewatch the West Wing from the beginning.
- If all these strategies fail, remember, we are in this together and we will get through it if we stick together.