The Nurse’s Note
Anxiety and the Pandemic

To say the least, we’re living in stressful times.  During these times we must manage two things simultaneously; protect ourselves from Coronavirus and from anxiety. Stress can lead to anxiety which can then lead to health concerns.  Symptoms of anxiety can be physical, psychological or behavioral. These include a racing heart, chest tightening and feeling restless.  For most, the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus is hardest to handle.   We still don’t know exactly how long this will last. That makes it all too easy to fall into a spiral of overwhelming dread and panic, but there are ways we can manage anxiety.

Stay informed, but don’t obsessively check the news.  It’s vital to stay informed, particularly about what’s happening in our community and follow advised safety precautions.  Rely on trustworthy sources, such as the CDC or public health authorities. Limit how often you check for media updates and step away if overwhelmed.

Don’t engage with worry – take action. Focus on the things that you can control. There’s a huge difference between worrying and problem solving.  We can look at this time in our lives as an opportunity to try something new or do things we haven’t had time for.  Turn worry into energy for cleaning out the garage or painting a room. Engage in stress reduction activities such as a bike ride or take up yoga.  Once this crisis has passed, we can return to dinner with friends, a night at the movies, and a simple haircut.

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