Surviving Coronavirus Anxiety: Tips From Mental Health Experts
Adapted by Jeanne Aliota, MSW, LCSW
Director of Social Work and Concierge Services at Clement Manor
Take a media break – don’t immerse yourself in news about the coronavirus 24/7. Do things that make you laugh and bring you joy. Laughter is the best medicine! Watch a good comedy, read a book or play your favorite music.
Relax your body – do what works for you – take deep breaths, stretch, practice meditation, pray.
Wash your hands frequently – for a full 20 seconds using warm water and soap. Follow social distancing rules and stay at home orders. There is comfort in knowing you are doing all you can to protect yourself.
Practice good self-care – get plenty of nutrients by eating healthy, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. We know that sleep has a direct impact on the immune system.
Take sensible steps to prepare – being adequately prepared will provide peace of mind. Having a 2 week supply of things you need can be helpful.
Go for a walk outside and get a little fresh air – time spent in nature can be peaceful, relaxing and soothing for the mind and body. There are many health benefits to getting some sunshine! Also, open your blinds and windows for fresh air and sun! It can brighten your spirits!
Acknowledge your anxiety – it’s generally unhelpful to say to someone who is anxious or to tell yourself if you are anxious, to just stop feeling anxious. It’s useful to acknowledge the anxiety and work through it.
Write down your worries – take the time to write down your worries in a journal or type them out on your screen. Sometimes actually seeing the words may help you to let go. Write down the things you find yourself thinking/worrying about and reflect on them. Challenge your own thinking to get it more in balance and reasonable.
Send a little love to people who you care about – connect with your family and friends by emailing, texting, using social media, calling them on the phone, or using technology like Zoom, Facetime and Skype. It’s important that we stay connected and talk about how we are feeling. It’s helpful to know you are not alone!
Reach out for help if you need extra support – many counselors are doing telehealth visits. Free support is also available 24/7 through County Behavioral Health Crisis Helplines – Milwaukee County – (414)257-7222; Waukesha County – (262)547-3388