Millions of people around the world are trying to cope with the stress and anxiety of the Coronavirus crisis. Will I and my family get the virus? How will we pay the bills and for how long will this go on? And other stressful uncertainties. Here are some tips for navigating this unprecedented stress and anxiety.
This is a 3-part video series.
Part 1: Using anxiety to stay safe and plan ahead (1 min 34 sec)
Part 2: Six tips to reduce your anxiety (2 min 48 sec)
Part 3: Meditation and mindfulness strategies (2 min 17 sec)
The way I think about anxiety is on a continuum from 0-10 where zero is "no anxiety" and 10 is "terrified." On this continuum there are 3 zones:
Zone 1: Not enough anxiety - unsafe level
A good example of the unsafe anxiety zone, is Spring Break in Florida when college students had too little anxiety and were being unsafe. They were not practicing social distancing and they risked infecting friends and family when they returned home.
Zone 2: Enough anxiety - safe level
A safe level of anxiety is where anxiety motivates you to stay safe and plan ahead. In this zone, anxiety is used for your benefit and is working for you. You're focused on planning and risk management.
Zone 3: Too much anxiety - unsafe level
In this zone, you have too much anxiety and it's working against you. You're spending too much time dwelling on frightening "what if" scenarios.
Here are two tips to keep your anxiety at a safe level.
Tip 1: Monitor your anxiety level. Which zone are you in?
First. monitor your anxiety. Watch it go up and down and be aware when your anxiety goes into the unsafe zone. In the next video, we'll talk about how to know when you've gone into the unsafe zone.
Tip 2: Use refocusing strategies explained in the next videos
When you find yourself in the unsafe zone, use the refocusing strategies demonstrated in the next two videos.
Where to find an anxiety therapist
See a therapist if you need to talk with a professional about your anxiety. You can find therapists who specialize in anxiety here: "Anxiety help: Where to find it (part 1)." Find telehealth anxiety specialists here.
Expert Tips and Resources
Here are some good mental health resources specifically dealing with Coronavirus (covid-19):
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.