24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825
Fax: (361)578-5500

Wellness and Personal Development
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Junk Food, Booze Often Star in America's Hit MoviesCoping With Lockdown Loneliness During the HolidaysMany Young Americans Lonely, Depressed During Pandemic: SurveyStay Home This Holiday, CDC and Medical Groups UrgeElection Outcome Hasn't Lowered Americans' Stress Levels: PollWith Cold Weather Forcing Patrons Inside, How Safe Are Restaurants?Are You Feeling 'Pandemic Fatigue'?What the Pandemic Did to WorkoutsBirth Control Pill Won't Raise Depression RiskAHA News: Despite the Pandemic, Keep Social Connections Strong This Holiday SeasonTips to Cope With Lockdown as Cold Weather ArrivesGreen Spaces Do a Heart GoodLiving Healthy Good for Your Heart, Even if You're on MedsWho Are The Loneliest Americans? The Answer May Surprise YouMultivitamins' 'Benefits' Are All in Your Head: StudyDid Your Candidate Lose the Election? Study Finds Depression May FollowThink 'Virtual' for Family Gatherings During the HolidaysNearly 1 in 5 Americans Follows 'Special' DietCoping With the Stress of This ElectionUpbeat Outlook Could Shield Your BrainTips for a Healthier Holiday SeasonGot Election Anxiety? Experts Have Coping TipsMost Americans Want to End Seasonal Time Changes: SurveyPandemic Putting Americans Under Great Mental Strain: PollAHA News: Your Pandemic Hobby Might Be Doing More Good Than You KnowHazardous Ingredients Make 'Smart Drug' Supplements a Not-So-Smart BuyAmericans Are Cutting Back on Sugary DrinksToo Much or Too Little Sleep Bad for Your BrainA Good Workout Could Boost Your Thinking for Up to 2 HoursSimply Smiling May Boost Your OutlookWho's Most Likely to Binge Eat Amid Pandemic?AHA News: In These Tough Times, Focus on ResilienceEating in the Evening Could Be Bad for Your HealthER Visits for E-Scooter Injuries Nearly Double in One YearCould Long Naps Shorten Your Life?Why Some Gifts Are Better-Received Than OthersBest Ways to Beat the HeatEducation Benefits the Brain Over a LifetimeAnother COVID Hazard: False InformationSocial Distancing? Your Paycheck Plays a RoleIs Your Home Workstation Hurting You?Many Stay Optimistic Until Old Age HitsMany Americans Pause Social Media as National Tensions RiseAfter Lockdown, Ease Back Into ExerciseFor a Longer Life, Any Exercise Is Good Exercise: StudyUnder 50 and Overweight? Your Odds for Dementia Later May RiseMore Americans Turning to Artificial Sweeteners, But Is That a Healthy Move?Don't Forget Good Sleep Habits During SummerExpert Tips to Help You Beat the HeatCould Vegetables Be the Fountain of Youth?
Links
Related Topics

Anger Management
Stress Reduction and Management

Keeping Coronavirus Anxiety at Bay

HealthDay News
by -- Steven Reinberg
Updated: Mar 17th 2020

new article illustration

TUESDAY, March 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Staying calm during the coronavirus pandemic isn't easy, but a few simple steps will help you stay informed yet relaxed.

Keep up-to-date with reliable sources.

"Given the onslaught of media coverage and information, it's important to make sure you are getting updates from reputable sources," said Nathaniel Van Kirk, coordinator of inpatient group therapy at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass.

Good sources include the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress.

"Using these guidelines as a foundation, while acknowledging that you won't be able to get 100% certainty in an evolving situation, may help you continue to live your daily life," he said in a hospital news release. "It can help you keep your entire day from being consumed by anxiety or worry and instead let you focus on what you can control."

Limit your exposure to media, including social media, which has a lot of misinformation, and skip watching the news right before bedtime, experts advise.

Try to stay calm.

Kathryn Boger, program director of the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program, said being aware of two common thinking traps can help you avoid falling into them. One is catastrophizing, where you imagine the worst-case scenario, and the other is overgeneralizing, where you think the worst is much more likely to happen.

"We can ask ourselves, 'Is this thought based in fact, and is it helpful to me right now?'" Boger said.

Create a plan for you and your family.

Keep a list that includes food supplies and medications, as well as doctor and work contacts. Keep items on your list stocked and your contacts up-to-date. Planning with your family can help ease anxiety.

Also, think about how you can help others. In a crisis, maintaining connection with the community is vital.

Communicate with your kids.

Even if your kids aren't talking about it, start the conversation. Not talking with them about something frightening can increase feelings of fear and uncertainty, Boger said.

"Research tells us that when we name an emotion, it decreases the intensity of the emotion. Open the space for kids to say, 'I'm scared,' and validate their feelings. This can help to take the edge off their fear," she suggested.

With kids who have anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), let them know they are likely to hear a lot of misinformation. They may also hear things that upset them, like people joking that they are "being OCD" about hand-washing.

"We can help them think about how they can mentally protect themselves in these moments," Boger said.

Keep it simple.

Sleep, nutritious eating, good hygiene, exercise, fresh air and connecting with people are the basics.

Mindfulness and breathing exercises can help manage anxiety.

"Maintaining daily structure and connection with hobbies can help with balance during an uncertain time," Boger said.

Van Kirk added: "Maintaining balance in daily life and not letting your day be consumed by the 'next headline,' is important to maintain perspective in the uncertainty of daily life."

More information

To learn more about coping with anxiety, visit the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.