As I write today, the news is full of reports about the coronavirus. Social media posts and emails urging caution, or calming fears, are arriving at alarming rates. Even the calmest among us are getting concerned.
But if you suffer from anxiety, especially around germs, medical symptoms or physical changes in your body, you may be spiraling into a panic.
Are you worrying all day and checking the news for new articles about COVID-19 symptoms?
Do you wake up at night wondering if the virus spreading to your state? To your city? To your kids.
Is this triggering your traumas or losses from the other terrible events in your life?
Take a breath.
Of course you are worrying. Your human brain is always watching for danger. That’s the way it works. New threats are particularly riveting. If you are already struggling with anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, PTSD or Depression the news of novel viruses and uncertain public response can be too much!
Your worry is understandable. Let’s look at how to calm that down, so you can still live your life with less anxiety.
- Find a trusted source of information. One source. At most, two. Don’t watch the news all day! Don’t let the notifications constantly ping on your phone. Each time you’re distracted by a development, you’re feeding your anxiety. You are not keeping yourself or your family safer. Consider checking the Center for Disease Control website every few days. It’s well written and well informed.
- Let this be a reminder to take better care of your physical and mental health in general. Do you struggle with motivation? You want to eat better? You want to walk daily? You just don’t have the push you need. Let this fear be your trainer. When you notice a little panic, let it work for you rather than against you.
- Stay connected to others. Even if you are choosing to spend less time in public places, it’s important to keep people in your life. Make a plan to stay in touch with people you care about. Push yourself to reach out. Anxiety can isolate you.
- Keep your routines whenever you can. Be careful that you don’t begin to narrow your life too much. You may find yourself dropping people or actives, just in case. If so, consider whether this is the anxiety steering you or a thoughtful response to a real threat. Anxiety has a relentless way of growing bigger if left untreated.
- Consider counseling. Your mental health is important. Talking to a therapist and learning ways to cope with threats in your world can mean the difference between living a life you love (with some challenges), and sinking into greater anxiety and loneliness.
In my Denver anxiety treatment practice, and through online sessions, I support people struggling with anxiety and stress. I can help you:
- Feel less alone.
- Tell your story and make sense of it.
- Develop effective strategies to overcome real threats in the real world, and even stop to those nagging fears that may never materialize.
- Figure out when your thoughts are out of your control and how to get your best self back in control.
- Find a place of peace inside.
Call now for an appointment to overcome anxiety in Denver or to discuss working through video conference from anywhere in Colorado.