When health anxiety affects our wellbeing, how do we cope?
With all the talk of the coronavirus it is little wonder that we may start feeling anxious. When we suffer with anxiety already, something like the fear of getting ill can tip us over the edge. Anxiety about this virus can set off a whole range of thoughts feelings and reactions. These can range from panic, social withdrawal, difficulty concentrating and hyper vigilance for your health.
Having ways to manage your anxiety around the corona virus will make the next weeks and months more manageable. We may know rationally that the chances of getting the virus are negligible and even then, the vast majority of people recover quickly, our minds may still play tricks on us. There are many things that we can do to manage our fears and anxieties. Most of these steps are part of a healthy lifestyle.
The first is to get the facts. Stay informed. Keep this in perspective. Whilst you have the facts constantly watching the press and the reruns the upsetting footage of other countries is not useful. We are only able to respond to the facts in this country. Taking a break from watching allows you to start focusing on your life.
Staying healthy by following the advice of sneezing into tissues and binning and washing hands are all good practice at the best of times. We also have to be mindful of assumptions. Isolating someone who has a cough may unwittingly stigmatise a person unnecessarily. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the stress seek support. If this is getting in your everyday life. Talking to a counsellor will help you gain perspective. Sometimes we may need more than just our friends and family saying we are ‘over reacting’.
Pam Custers is an experienced therapist working with individuals, couples and families. MA. BA (Psych) Hons and is RELATE trained. 07572 841388