Fear is Contagious - How to Stay Calm During This Chaotic Time

We are in the midst of a very real public health emergency and to say “there’s nothing to worry about” would be irresponsible. As each country continues to take steps to prevent this virus from spreading further, we must also take steps to prevent fear and panic from spreading even more rapidly. From fights breaking out over toilet paper to the very real fear of losing your job, anxiety seems to be around every corner.

In order to get through this season together we all need to make sure we are taking practical steps to keep ourselves healthy and safe physically and practical steps to help keep ourselves calm and safe emotionally/mentally.

Practical Steps to Stay Physically Healthy:

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Avoid large crowds when possible
  3. Clean surfaces regularly with disinfectant
  4. Avoid close contact with people who have flu-like symptoms
  5. Cover coughs and sneezes
  6. Stay home if you feel sick or display any flu-like symptoms
  7. Get accurate updates and information from accredited sources like WHO and the CDC

“When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where the power is.” - Anonymous

Practical Steps to Stay Mentally/Emotionally Healthy:

  1. Phone a friend and talk about how you’re feeling
  2. Practice deep breathing and meditation
  3. Go for a walk in nature
  4. Snuggle a pet
  5. Engage all your senses with mindful eating
  6. Listen to calming music
  7. Do something with your hands (arts/crafts)
  8. Journal about your feelings
  9. Drink cold water
  10. Limit your amount of time on social media or watching the news
  11. Cuddle a weighted blanket
  12. Get accurate updates and information from accredited sources like WHO and the CDC

As we continue in this season of uncertainty, it is crucial to keep mental health as a top priority. Isolation (in quarantine cases) can be very difficult, especially for individuals who already deal with anxiety or mental health issues. If you are feeling severe anxiety or panic about what is happening in the world right now but are unable to get out of the house to see a mental health professional, I would love to set up a time to talk over the phone. You can email me at leemiller.therapist@gmail.com or call my office at (310) 614-0323.