If you’re feeling anxious about coronavirus (COVID-19), you’re not alone. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to control every risk that comes your way and still lead a meaningful, reasonable and productive life at the same time. Extensive and unrealistic avoidance is not compatible with survival. Instead, many experts recommend doing what you can to reassert a sense of control over your fears, without overreacting and contributing to public panic. This includes staying informed without overdoing it. Since too much media exposure can heighten your anxiety, it’s best to get the information you need and leave the rest.
Commonsense precautionary measures are also especially important given the likelihood of contracting COVID-19. There are some important and very basic things people can do to take back the power here, and to control – at least to the extent that you can – your degree of vulnerability to this illness. This includes:
- Self-isolating and monitoring your temperature if you get sick
- Washing your hands regularly with soap and water
- Staying away from concerts, sporting events and other large gathering
A rapidly spreading epidemic can be a particularly tough time for people with preexisting mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and/or obsessive-compulsive disorders. That’s where social support networks are crucial. If you tend to be more anxious, connect (in a safe way) with people you trust – people who can help you calm down and individuals you can turn to for support.
Above all, health experts say it’s crucial not to let panic take over your decision-making and rational thought processes. Otherwise, the price you pay could be much greater than the threat the virus poses.