Have You Got Coronavirus Anxiety?

Have You Got Coronavirus Anxiety?

“Fear, worry, and anxiety have useful roles to play in our lives. ~ Daniel M. Gilbert.

It has now become obvious to all that we, as a global community, are facing a once in a lifetime crisis with the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus (aka the Honey Badger virus*). And as a result, many people will feel the effects of Coronavirus Anxiety.

First and foremost, please understand that Coronavirus Anxiety is completely normal and (ironically) healthy. It is an emotional response to hearing about a potentially serious threat to you or your family.

Your brain is wired to over-react to a threat, perceived or real.

Psychology refers to it as an adjustment reaction. These are natural healthy responses to help you prepare for change. They include:

♦  Pausing to take in what is happening. You might stop or start doing things to feel safer. E.g. more vigilant about hand washing.

♦  Become hypervigilant. Watching the news more. Noticing people coughing or sneezing.

♦  Personalise the risk. Imagine what would happen if you or a family member caught the virus.

♦  Take extra precautions. These may be premature or even unnecessary. You might buy two months worth of toilet paper, or two years worth. But remember over-reaction is normal.

 

Key Characteristics of Adjustment Reaction

Over-reaction:

Is automatic. Remember the brain is wired to protect you. Your reaction is mostly an unconscious response. This can draw ridicule from those around you. But it is healthy. E.g. Pulling your children out of school.

Is early. This is often before it has reached your community or before it has become really big. Whether it is a false alarm or the real thing, “It is a survival trait to take a risk seriously before it engulfs you.” ~ Peter Sandman

Is temporary. For most people this reaction or over-reaction is to help ease into what happens next. If the threat dissipates then life goes back to normal. Or you adjust to the New Normal of ongoing preparedness.

Is small. An adjustment reaction can be viewed as excessive because it is premature. But again, this is healthy. If it was disproportionate to the threat then there would be reason for concern.  

Needs guidance. You need to keep well informed on what action to take for you, your family and wider community.

Serves as a rehearsal. People who have emotionally and logistically imagined the potential impact, have time to figure out what they will do and how they will do it. “Premature” isn’t such a devastating criticism” if it helps you to be prepared. ~ Peter Sandman

Reduces the probability of over-reaction later. How ironic! You are less likely to over-react to the actual crisis if it happens because you are better prepared and mentally equipped to handle it. What’s more you are quicker to recognise when the threat or crisis is over and tend to recover more easily. 

How to help someone have a good adjustment reaction to coronavirus anxiety:

DON’T

♦  Tell them to calm down 

♦  Criticize or ridicule their reaction

♦  Tell them not to take precautions

DO

♦  Validate them

♦  Be Supportive

♦  Guide them if you can

Remember rehearsing is healthy and normal. It is better than being caught off guard.

Coronavirus anxiety is a normal healthy reaction to help you prepare emotionally and make practical decisions. But if you get stuck in your anxiety it can work against you. 

 

When should you seek help?

⇒  If your over-reaction becomes ongoing anxiety

⇒  You’re experiencing unwanted intrusive thoughts

⇒  You can’t concentrate, sleep, eat or it interferes with your relationships

⇒  Your reaction is out of proportion to the current level of threat or what is likely to happen  

We need to look after each other, and pull together as communities. The support of family and friends might look a little different, e.g. face-time etc. But just as important.

Can I receive professional help for COVID-19 Anxiety?

Yes. As you are aware “social distancing” has been highly recommended to help slowdown the spread of COVID-19. However, I will continue to offer both Online counselling and Phone counselling for Individuals and Couples via Zoom (similar to Skype). 

So, no matter where you are; in the city or remote, we can talk – just click the “Book Now” button below to check out available times.

* The COVID-19 Coronavirus was nicknamed the Honey Badger virus by Chris Martinson of the Peak Prosperity YouTube channel. The Honey Badger is known as a tenacious animal that can escape almost any enclosure.

 

Lets Talk

If you are experiencing any of the above with coronavirus anxiety, then please call me for a Free 15 minute consultation. We can talk about what is going on for you and I can answer any questions you might have. If I am with a client I will get back to you as soon as I can.

or if you are ready to book now

Lets Talk

If you are experiencing any of the above with coronavirus anxiety, then please call me for a Free 15 minute consultation. We can talk about what is going on for you and I can answer any questions you might have. If I am with a client I will get back to you as soon as I can.

or if you are ready to book now

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