When public crises occur – such as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – it’s normal to experience anxiety and even fear. These situations can cause us to feel powerless, even though the likelihood of being infected by a virus like COVID-19 is statistically very low. In a large, globally interconnected world, we simply cannot control the outcome individually. However, what we can control is our reaction to the threat.
The feelings of powerlessness that many of us are experiencing may be combatted by doing our part to stop the spread of disease in our homes and communities. By shifting our attention to things that are within our control and not participating in rumors and chaos, we can enjoy greater mental and physical health.
Take Steps to Protect Yourself & Others
Taking protective measures can help us regain a sense of power in our lives. Here are a list of safety tips recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
- Stay home if you are sick and keep sick family members at home.
- Cover coughs and sneezes, and immediately wash your hands if you cough or sneeze.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
You may also need to follow additional protective measures, depending on where you live.
Manage Media Consumption
Another factor that we can control is how we consume information about the viral outbreak. Are you relying on sources such as the CDC for news about the virus, or do you get news from unreliable sources? Do you read factual information or are you engaging in speculation and exaggeration about the spread of the disease? When media sources are focused on creating fear among the public, this often leads to unnecessary anxiety.
You Are Not Alone
In these uncertain times, it’s natural to worry. However, if anxiety about the COVID-19 outbreak is taking a toll on your mental health, reach out to Sound Mind Therapy for innovative counseling from the heart. We can help you take steps to challenge your thinking and mitigate anxiety and fear. We also offer family therapy for multiple family members. To make an appointment, call (314) 499-9144 or complete our online request form. From our office in Creve Coeur, we serve residents of St. Louis, St. Charles, Chesterfield and surrounding suburbs.