To say that we live in uncertain times is something of an understatement. The recent news and events surrounding the outbreak of the new coronavirus has left many of us feeling destabilized, pensive, and yes, even anxious. But rather than succumbing to these anxious emotions, you can help to manage these feelings and make decisions that will keep you safe and comfortable. As licensed online counselors in Texas, we’re used to working with clients virtually, even when we aren’t being encouraged to practice social distancing. While you’re waiting for a session with Texas Online Counseling PLLC, here are some ways you can help manage your feelings of anxiety.
Take a Step Back
With the amount of news coverage the coronavirus is getting, it’s no surprise that many feel overwhelmed by the whole experience. It’s easy to find yourself pouring through endless new and social media feeds looking for updates and fixating on the latest developments. But rather than soothing your mind, it only aggravates it more.
That’s because many news and social media outlets capitalize on the most spectacular, and often most dire, news stories. To make sure you’re not getting swept up with these disaster pieces, take a step back. Limit how often you check the news and your social media accounts. We also think it’s a good idea to turn off automatic news updates on your smartphone. If you have to look for updates, make sure to use credible sources like the WHO, CDC, and reputable news outlets.
By now we’ve all heard about the run on grocery stores for toilet paper and hand sanitizer. For some, events like these might leave them feeling like they haven’t prepared. However, there are plenty of ways you can prepare, reducing your risk of contracting the novel coronavirus.
First and foremost, wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water. Make sure you clean up common spaces and disinfect frequently used items like doorknobs, switches, and remotes. When you have the chance to make it to the grocery store, don’t forget to stock up on things like fresh fruits and vegetables, which are not only tasty but good for your immune system. You can also stay safe by practicing social distancing and minimizing your contact with others for a little while.
On the other hand, over-preparing won’t do you any good. For example, don’t buy more supplies than you need. This can actually leave you feeling like you’re at greater risk than you actually are.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
Many interpret “social distancing” as locking themselves away. Staying connected to friends and family is an important part of staying healthy, and is a great way to process your anxious feelings. You can still engage with friends and family through phone and video calls. While you should be aware of where you spend time with others, as long as you socialize in a small-group setting, you can still enjoy face-to-face company. Just make sure you sit at least six feet apart and cover your mouth and nose if you need to sneeze or cough.
That said, if you’re feeling sick, please be courteous to others and stay home. In these instances, you can take advantage of mediums like email, text, and video calls to communicate with others.
Continue Supporting Your Mental Health
If you have been living with conditions like anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, the furor of coverage surrounding COVID-19 can make your symptoms more pronounced. You might experience feelings like helplessness, panic, and fear, in addition to your existing symptoms of anxiety. Now more than ever, it’s important that you continue to prioritize your mental health. You should do your best to continue with a regular schedule of treatment and counseling sessions, as these practices will help you stay healthy and collected.
If you’re worried about the risk of contamination, an online counseling service might be the ideal choice for you. Our group of counselors are trained in online anxiety therapy and can help you manage these symptoms.
Even in times of uncertainty, you can be sure that we are here to help. We invite you to schedule an appointment with our online counselors today to get started with your sessions.