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Mar 11, 2020
by: Carrie Larsen
Managing Anxiety & Fears Around COVID-19
As information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) unfolds, there can be a wide range of thoughts, feelings and reactions.
 
Common Reactions
 
Please recognize that there can be a wide range of reactions and that over the next few days or weeks you may experience periods of:
  • Anxiety
  • Worry
  • Panic
  • Feeling helplessness
  • Social withdrawal
Ways to Manage Fears & Anxieties
 
Although Coronavirus is a health issue that is being taken very seriously by public health authorities worldwide, do not let your worry about this virus control your life. There are many simple and effective ways to manage your fears and anxieties. Many of them are essential ingredients for a healthy lifestyle; adopting them can help improve your overall emotional and physical well-being.
  • Get the facts. Stay informed with the latest health information through the odh.ohio.gov. For further information, see the dedicated Center for Disease Control website.
  • Keep things in perspective. Limit worry and agitation by lessening the time you spend watching or listening to upsetting media coverage. Although you'll want to keep informed — especially if you have loved ones in affected countries — remember to take a break from watching the news and focus on the things that are positive in your life and things you have control over.
  • Be mindful of your assumptions about others. Someone who has a cough or a fever does not necessarily have coronavirus. Self-awareness is important in not stigmatizing others in our community.
  • Stay healthy. Adopting healthy hygienic habits such as washing your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, frequently, and certainly 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.
  • Keep connected. Maintaining social networks can help maintain a sense of normalcy, and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress.
  • Seek additional help. Individuals who feel an overwhelming worry or anxiety can seek additional professional mental health support.
  • Call the Cuyahoga County warmline, 440-886-5950 (available from 9 am – 1 am daily), or the State of Ohio Coronavirus Hotline, 833-427-5634
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