Life Changes as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

February 10, 2020 – San Jose, California, United States: From left, Dental Clinic Manager Elena Blanco and Front Desk Dental Receptionist Han Vu wear N95 masks while manning the front desk at the Foothill Community Health Center. (LiPo Ching / San Francisco Chronicle / Polaris) ///

The COVID-19 pandemic can be a very stressful and anxious time.  Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems and the current news cycle can make it even worse.  There are some things we can do to help the overwhelming feeling you might have during this crisis.

  1. There are steps you can take to prepare yourself and reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.  The most common and powerful ones include washing your hands regularly, not touching your face, staying away from others who are sick and disinfecting surfaces that could have been in contact with others.

You can also boost your immune system.  Eating a balanced diet such as plenty of fruits and vegetables and exercising at home can keep you healthy.

  1. Too much preparation can cause anxiety. Overdoing it or becoming obsessive can be counterproductive.  Extreme or unnecessary actions could make you stress about the situation more.
  2. Turn off the news. Our news cycle is overwhelming.  24 hours a day of what can seem to be in your face reporting.  Set aside a certain time to watch the news to stay updated on the situation and turn your mind off from thinking about it outside of this timeframe.  You also want to make sure you are getting updates from reliable sources.  Remember that social media posts could not be coming from reputable sources.
  3. Mindfulness meditation can help you relax. Negative thoughts right now can be persistent, and we might tend to think a lot about a “what if” scenario.  While it’s okay to acknowledge what you are worrying about, mindfulness can help our minds to refocus on the present. It can also help to improve sleep.
  4. Even though our social interactions right now are anything but normal, it’s important to connect. Video calls, chatting or phone calls are all ways we can try to stay social and even discuss our fears with others.
  5. Underlying conditions. Remember to treat existing mental illnesses.  Anxiety, depression and other illnesses combined with our current pandemic can increase symptoms.  Make sure you are taking care of yourself properly.

Freedom Within currently has online counseling via video therapy.  Reach out to us today to talk with a counselor and schedule a session.