Fear about the coronavirus has gripped our area greatly.
Now, it’s hitting much closer to home as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread through the Seattle area. The introduction of any new illness can be frightening, but those fears are easily intensified when you’re in a ‘hot spot’ like Seattle.
During this time of unknown conditions and rising fears, it’s important to stay calm. The next time you feel worry about the Coronavirus set in, turn to these tips to help ease anxiety so you can move forward in good health.
Here’s some advice from Psychiatry Northwest and TMS Washington’s Medical Director, Jesse McClelland.
Look For Reliable Sources
The Coronavirus is definitely something to stay informed about, but make sure you are getting accurate information from trusted and reliable sources. What your neighbors and social media are saying, while perhaps well-intentioned, may not always be correct. Follow the advice and listen to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your own healthcare provider.
Take Steps To Be Prepared
Just like with the Flu or common cold, there’s nothing you can do to 100 percent guarantee you won’t become sick, but you can take steps to stay healthy, protect yourself, and minimize worry. Practice good hygiene by washing your hands with soap and hot water throughout the day. Limit contact with anyone who is currently sick. Avoid putting your hands in your mouth and touching your face. Get plenty of rest. Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water.
Focus On You
Self-care is especially important during this time. Of course, we all should stay informed and current on the latest with the Coronavirus, but perhaps one of the best things you can do for your own mental health and wellbeing is to stay even more focused on your own little world around.
Stay Informed, But Not Every Minute
Sitting in front of the TV all day to track where the virus is and how many people are currently infected isn’t doing you any good and will lead to excess worry. Stay involved in your work, your family and friends, your personal hobbies and interests.
If you are constantly exposing yourself to negativity, it becomes more difficult to stay positive.
Reduce Your Anxiety
Lowering your anxiety levels is always important. If you find yourself feeling more stressed or anxious than usual, and suspect this is due to worry over the Coronavirus, it’s even more important that you take steps to relax and calm down.
Take some deep breaths in through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and slowly breathe out through your mouth. Try some muscle relaxation exercises where you tense each muscle group for a few seconds and then release.
Finally, focus on your internal dialog and remind yourself while it’s important to stay informed, there’s no need to cross the line to constant worry and panic.
Get Professional Help
Don’t hesitate to report your symptoms, physically and emotionally, to your trusted healthcare providers. Our team is here for you!
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