I am sure you have heard the news by now, even if you only mildly pay attention to current events…there is a virus that has reached a pandemic level across the globe. Some of those who are up to date on this current event may be experiencing
fear and anxiety. What is anxiety? The American Psychological Association (APA) Defines anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure”. Anxiety is normal and healthy, however it is important to monitor if the feeling of anxiety has reached a disproportionate level and considered “excessive”.
If you are feeling anxiety at this time, a simple question we can ask ourselves is, “what can I do to control my anxiety and fear?” There are a few simple and effective ways you can manage your stress through this confusing and potentially scary time-
- “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
- “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7
2. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
If you or someone you have been in contact with is experiencing any signs or symptoms, please seek immediate medical help. Even if you have no signs or symptoms, you may be asymptomatic and can carry the virus to someone who may be more vulnerable than you. STAY HOME. Limit your social interactions with others. Check the CDC website for guidelines and more information.
3. FEELINGS CHECK
Staying informed is very important during this time, however being aware of how the flooding of information affects your mood and stress level is important. Ask yourself, “How am I feeling?” “Is this causing more anxiety?”. Limit the information taken in, to only trusted sources.
4. KEEP ANXIETY AT BAY
- Ask yourself, “Am I being realistic or am I overthinking?
- Accept that it is normal to feel sad, angry, confused and scared during this time.
- Resist the urge to use substances to “take the edge off”. Keep your body healthy by getting exercise and enough sleep during this time.
- Establish healthy boundaries with friends, family and neighbors. It is preferred to say “no” to social gatherings and participate in social “face-to-face” distancing. It is important however, to maintain social supports and stay connected. Do this virtually through Skype, Facetime, telephone calls etc.
- Find ways to preserve a sense of normalcy. Attempt to maintain the school or work structure in the home.
- Release tension: whether that means keeping up with exercising, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation etc.
- See below for a list of coping skills to try if you feel as if the anxiety is increasing!
5. SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP
People who are vulnerable to anxiety might be finding that the pandemic is overwhelming. If this applies to you, please seek professional help. At Christian Counseling Associates, we offer counselors who understand, and therapies that would be beneficial for this time. CCA also offers Teletherapy options in order to best help clients who have been
exposed or potentially exposed to the virus. Please give us a call at 804-464- 7005 to set up an appointment with a mental health professional at Christian Counseling Associates.
Some Healthy Coping Ideas During Quarantine
- Stay in virtual contact with friends/family
- Listen to music
- Take a walk
- Read the bible
- Read a book
- Engage in a hobby
- Practice Deep breathing Exercises
- Yard work
- Relaxation app/youtube videos
- Use aromatherapy
- Take a bath
- Squeeze a stress ball
Written by: Siara Stewart, Resident in Counseling