By: Grace Gufler

The Coronavirus outbreak has come suddenly, and many people are feeling anxious, scared, confused and stressed. As the Coronavirus continues to linger and spread in various environments and nations, it is beginning to impact people’s daily lives more and more. Universities are closing, events are being cancelled, travel is being banned and companies are beginning to encourage, or insist, that employees work from home. These significant changes that impact a person’s daily life routine have increased the amount of focus and attention on the Coronavirus outbreak. As a result, people are beginning to isolate themselves and feelings of anxiety, stress, paranoia, and fear are being experienced more often, or more easily. 

It has become nearly impossible to avoid being exposed to information about the Coronavirus and, therefore, there is very little to no reprieve available from the anxiety-provoking thoughts associated with the virus. As the Coronavirus continues to be a focus of the media and continuously impacts our environment and lifestyle, managing your mental health in conjunction with staying informed and alert is essential during this time. Accepting Therapy wants to offer some tips on how to successfully manage your mental health during this Coronavirus Pandemic. Contact us here if you have more questions or would like to know more. 

  1. Limit Your News Intake: The Coronavirus is receiving a lot of media attention and it’s difficult to avoid being exposed to news related to the virus. It is important for people to be aware of how much information they are consuming on this topic daily. This can include news articles, social media posts, blogs, radio and television media, and even conversations with others. The many platforms in which we can access this information makes it difficult to avoid, and to a certain extent, staying informed is good. But, it is also very important to set boundaries related to news consumption in order to establish a healthy balance. The negative consequences of being exposed to too much negative or stress-inducing information on a topic can include a variety of mental health issues, like anxiety, stress, burnout, depression, insomnia, poor physical health and social withdrawal, to name a few. It is important to stay informed, to make sure you are getting information from trusted sources and to be mindful of the amount of information you are intaking daily. The appropriate boundaries regarding news intake is different for each individual person, but as long as you are presently conscious about your intake, you can determine what your boundaries should be based on how the information impacts you.
  2. Physical Activity: Many people are beginning to avoid environments that expose them to large amounts of people, out of fear of being infected with the virus. As a result, people may avoid going to the gym, playing sports or really leaving their homes at all and therefore, physical activity is being drastically limited. Physical and mental health can easily decline as more and more people are confined to their homes, whether by work-from-home mandates, sickness, or simply limiting the amount of interaction with other people. It is important to continue to engage in physical activity during this time for physical health benefits, but also to maintain your mental health as well. A lack of physical activity can result in developing cabin fever, loneliness, increased anxiety and stress, depression and other mental health issues.  Be creative in how you maintain a healthy amount of physical activity, even if your usual resources are not accessible to you. Some examples include: use home workout programs, stretch, walk around the house or run up and down your stairs. 
  3. Stay Connected: The fear related to contracting the Coronavirus has led to social withdrawal and avoidance. This is troublesome as the lack of socialization can negatively impact a person’s mental health. It is important to stay connected with others during this time, while still practicing healthy habits. This can be done through video chats, still meeting in person while minimizing physical contact, or avoiding contact with persons who are sick. It is important to continue to stay connected with your support system during this time in order to help you manage your mental health.
  4. Therapy: If you are experiencing increased anxiety, insomnia, depression or other mental health issues due to the Coronavirus it may be helpful to see a therapist for some support. If you are uncomfortable meeting in person with a therapist, know that many therapists offer video sessions. Accepting Therapy will be offering telehealth options to accommodate our client’s needs.

As the Coronavirus continues to become more prevalent in the media and impacts daily life routines, mental health is more and more likely to be affected by these changes. It is important for people to discuss mental health along with physical health as it relates to the Coronavirus. Mental health and physical health directly impact one another, and Accepting Therapy encourages you to be mindful of your overall wellbeing during this time. If you are experiencing anxiety, stress, fear or other mental health concerns related to the Coronavirus please reach out to us to speak to one of our therapists for support.