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  • Amanda Schmukler MSW,RSW

Anxious About COVID-19?

Life is uncertain. We all know it and it can make people anxious. But there are times when world events bring forward even greater uncertainty in daily life, which in turn can make us even more anxious than usual. The coronavirus outbreak is one of these times for many people. How can you manage this anxiety and worry during these uncertain times? Here are a few suggestions.

Be self-compassionate

Do not be too hard on yourself if you’re experiencing more anxiety than usual.

Limit the news and use of social media

Understandably coronavirus is the lead story for most news outlets. People on social media are likewise sharing information and stories, many of which are excellent resources, but some of which are not accurate. As we think about and focus more on coronavirus, the PERCEPTION of the threat of contracting this virus increases. However, the actual risk does not increase.

Limiting contact with news and social media can help you manage your own anxiety and worry. Make sure that your information comes from reputable sources, such as Health Canada and the Government of Canada. Commit to checking the news a couple of times a day. Set a regular time to check the news, as standardizing the time will help you to both think less about it, and to reduce fighting with yourself to check. It is also helpful to disable news alerts on your phone, and to rely on family and friends to provide major updates, thereby making it unnecessary to check the media.

Limit COVID-19 conversations

Constant talking about the latest details of coronavirus keeps us thinking about it, which influences our sense of threat/risk. To counteract this, don’t initiate the conversation, and change the subject if it does come up. If you’re comfortable doing so, ask friends and family to not discuss the coronavirus news updates with you. Not only will this help you feel less anxious, but it will help others too.

Therapeutic Interventions

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the gold standard in treatments for anxiety. If you are interested in learning more about this approach and other interventions that may support you at this time, please call or email for a free consultation. Online counselling is available via a PHIPPA compliant confidential platform.

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