Monday, March 16, 2020

Anxiety and the Coronavirus

There's no doubt that because of the novel Coronavirus, we are living through a unique and even scary time.As a person who deals with chemical anxiety and depression, my external environment can affect me greatly. I know there are many out there like me, so something like a world-wide pandemic and all the changes and fears associated with it,. can be difficult. Regulating an emotional state when you have large amounts of anxiety on a typical day in our faster, tech oriented life is hard enough. So this post is to acknowledge that there is both reasons to feel anxious, but there is also a panic that can and will affect certain people more than others.

So what can we do? Here's a few thoughts.

1.We have to follow the news to some degree to know what is going on in communities. My advice, whenever possible read the articles rather than listen to an endless dribble of panic-filled rhetoric on 24 hour news stations. Panic makes for ratings, and these channels are a business. They are not worried about your state of mind. They will exploit your emotions for profit. Limit exposure to them, you'll feel more in control, and you'll be more in control.

2. Many places schools, businesses and other places we might normally go will be not safe or closed. Don't just sit at home and stew. Do something constructive. If you wanted to work on on a musical talent, you've got a little extra time. Take some time to read. I've written a few books if you want to choose one:) If you have kids, spend time playing with them. You don't have to spend money to build your relationship. They just want your time.

3. To keep stress at bay, do something kind for someone in your community. You can do this without exposing anyone to the virus. Write a letter and pin it to their door. Pull some of their weeds, or just text or Facetime with people who might feel isolated. When you are focused on others, you'll feel better and they will too.

4.Go outside every day! Our bodies need Vitamin D and our minds need a change of environment. Walk around if you can. You can still stay away from people with out sitting in a dark room.

5. Most of all, remind yourself that this is a temporary situation, a blip in our lives as far as time goes. I am not saying that it is not scary or that the threat is not real. I'm saying that our children will be talking about it in history class and the way we handle it will determine how quickly we rebound as a society. Most of all, it reminds us that life is a gift. We should hold people dear, especially those who don't have a long time to live in general. My mother died of cancer before she was 30. Nothing is certain, but we do have the ability to cherish and find peace and joy in the here and now.

If you want a strange upside to the Coronavirus. It reminds us that we, as human beings, no matter our nationality, gender, or even viewpoints, are part of a larger family. The human family, and this is a great time to show an increased love for those around us. Because nothing chases away fear, faster than love. Be safe all, and know that this will pass.   I love you all.

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