This pandemic doesn’t appear to have an end in sight and for many, feelings of hopelessness, anxiety and depression are increasing. Did you know there’s ways to combat these feelings even in the midst of a pandemic?
Studies suggest that negative emotional states are contagious, much like the virus. The more you are exposed to panicky and anxious people, the more anxiety you are likely to experience. Fortunately, studies also find that positive emotional states are also contagious.
Soooo, you CAN fight the effects of “anxiety contagion” by spending more time with people in your life who make you feel comforted, safe, and calm – or just make you laugh. Take a second to pull up the notes app on your phone or jot on a sticky note the names of people like this in your life. Also, take a second to note how you will communicate with them (i.e., face-to-face, phone, video chat). Then you have to DO IT! Get together with them! Being in the presence of people who are calm, confident, and positive can reduce your fear and anxiety. This is especially true when you are around positive people who are authority figures, or people you depend on and respect so give yourself the gift of getting connected with the people on your list!
ALSO, hearing about the pandemic constantly will serve to increase your anxiety, fear, and feelings of helplessness. Limit the time you spend watching news, reading headlines, and visiting social media sites.
Here are some suggestions for reducing your exposure to news and screen time featuring pandemic-related information:
Limit your viewing time of coronavirus pandemic news. For instance, if you usually watch the news or read headlines several hours a day, try reducing that to one or two scheduled times a day – and ideally, not at bedtime.
Unsubscribe from media alerts and “breaking news” on your phone and email.
Pick a single news source you trust.
Turn your phone off while sleeping and leave it out of your bedroom.
Look for “feel good” stories that highlight the kindness, creativity, and problem-solving abilities of people around the world.
If you’d like a community of people working to show up well in the midst of a pandemic and offer support, encouragement and camaraderie, jump in our Facebook community at https://www.facebook.com/groups/276262047024973/ and make sure you’re subscribed to our email list at takecontrolwithbeckie.com to receive info like this and more!