Managing Fears and Anxiety around
Coronavirus…

As information about Coronavirus unfolds, there can be a wide range of thoughts, feelings and reactions. Below is some helpful information and resources.

Common Reactions

These are confusing, and frighting times  and affects numerous facets of our society. You  may find yourself asking: “What is going to happen next?”For many people the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 is the hardest to handle.  We may not know exactly how we would be impacted or we may be concerned about the impact on loved ones.  This uncertainty can make it easy for us to catastrophize and spiral out into panic and dread. 

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and we need to recognise that there can be a wide range of reaction you or someone close to you may experience in the coming days or weeks.

For example:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Anger
  • Feeling helplessness
  • Hyper-vigilance to your health and body
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of smoking, alcohol, or other drugs

Who may respond more strongly

According to the CDC people who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include

  • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
  • Children and teens
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders
  • People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use
 

If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call

Ways to Manage Stress, Fear and Anxiety

Fear and anxiety about a COVID-19 can be overwhelming and lead to strong emotions in adults and children.  There are many simple and effective ways to manage your anxiety and fears.  Most of them are essential ingredients for a healthy lifestyle and can help improve your overall emotional and physical well-being.  Below is some helpful information and resources.

  • Get the facts. Stay informed with the latest health information through the health advisory from the government.
  • Stick to trustworthy sources such as the CDC website or World Health Organisation.
  • Limit how often you check for updates. Be mindful of a overwhelming need to constantly monitor news and social media feeds. It can quickly turn compulsive and counterproductive which can in turn increase anxiety rather than ease it. The limit is different for everyone, so pay attention to how you’re feeling and adjust accordingly.
  • Step away from media if you start feeling overwhelmed. Consider limiting your media consumption to a specific time frame and time of day (e.g. thirty minutes each evening at 6 pm).  It is understandable that you may want to keep informed — especially if you have loved ones in affected countries. However, incorporate breaks from watching the news and focus things you have control over.
    Be mindful of your assumptions about others. Remember a cough or a fever does not necessarily mean that a person have COVID-19. Now is a time that we as a community must come together without stigmatising others in our community.
    Stay healthy. Adopting healthy hygienic habits such as washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitiser frequently. Especially after sneezing or before/after touching your face or a sick person. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Avoid contact with others who are sick and stay home while sick
  • Take care of your body. Take a few deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, try to exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
    Stay connected. It can help to maintaining social networks and can instil a sense of normalcy. Talk to those you trust about our concerns and feelings.
    Seek additional help. If you or a loved one at any time feel an overwhelmed by worry or anxiety seek additional professional mental health support.

For Parents

Here are some suggestions you can do to support  your child(ren)

  • Take time to talk with your child(ren) about the COVID-19. Answer their questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that they can understand. Allow them to share their feelings.
  • Reassure them that they are safe and that is is OK if they feel upset or scared. Share with them how you cope with your own stress so that they can learn healthy coping strategies from you.
  • Children may misinterpret what they hear on the news or social media. It is important to limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. 
  • Make a schedule for all family members to keep up with regular routines. Build in time to relax and allow children to have input in setting up the schedule.
  • Children learn from us, so be a role model by following your schedule.  Take the time to reconnect with your children by spending focused time with them.  

The CDC’s website have helpful information about helping children cope.

If you feel overwhelmed and need someone to talk to …..

I offer a free 20-minute sessions aimed at vulnerable older people and others who are self-isolating or struggling. Please use the code COVID19 in your subject line when requesting a session. 

BENEFITS OF COUNSELLING

The benefits of counselling are extensive. You develop greater self-awareness and insight, which enables you to grow in all areas of your life, helping you to become the person you want to be. To achieve this, I use a holistic approach and aim to go beyond merely addressing the immediate symptoms you may be experiencing. My goal is to assist you in developing effective ways of coping while exploring and addressing the underlying issues that are contributing to current life struggles, emotional distress, or interpersonal problems. You will develop a greater sense of self-acceptance and an enhanced level of self-esteem that enables you to build stronger relationship connection and help you to thrive both in your personal life, as parent and or partner, at school/university, and in your professional life. 

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