The news of the COVID-19 (aka Coronavirus) pandemic is everywhere and all-consuming these days. The state of events is constantly changing. Every day there are new closures and new recommendations from government officials. All of this can easily lead to feeling an increased amount of fear and anxiety.

Fear and anxiety are normal reactions to uncertainty. And, there is definitely a lot of uncertainty in the world right now. Below are some tips to help keep the fear and anxiety at bay:

  1. Take breaks from the news and social media – it is responsible to stay informed about the current state of things. However, it can easily become overwhelming keeping up with the 24-hour news cycle. Commit to only checking social media once or twice a day and only watch the news for a half-hour to an hour per day.
  2. Take care of yourself physically and emotionally – exercise, eat healthy meals, stay hydrated, get enough sleep. Be sure to also make time to relax, meditate, spend time on hobbies and activities you enjoy. Or, give mindfulness a try. The point of mindfulness is to focus on the present. By doing so it takes your mind out of the future and “what if” scenarios where fear and anxiety live.
  3. Take control of what you can – Recognize there are things about this situation that we can’t control. But there are still things we can control. Taking control of what we can leads to a sense of calm. Things you can control include washing your hands, disinfecting frequently used items like doorknobs, taking care of your mental and physical health, checking in on friends, loved ones and neighbors, etc.
  4. Get outside – getting outside in the fresh air and sunshine or spending time in nature can help calm nerves. Take walks around your neighborhood, take a hike or a bike ride (while keeping a safe physical distance, of course).
  5. Maintain social connections, remotely – we’ve been asked to socially distance, but that doesn’t mean we need to be emotionally distant. Use technology to stay in touch with friends and loved ones. Call a friend while taking a walk, facetime your friends, participate in virtual gatherings.

Keep in mind, while you may feel isolated, you are not alone in this. Everyone in the community is dealing with the same restrictions, closures, and changes.

If your fear and anxiety start to get in the way of your ability to function on an everyday basis—such as social relationships and staying on top of tasks at school or work—those are cues signaling that you may want to call the EAP.

Remember, your Employee Assistance Program is here to help you and your household members manage the fear and anxiety you are feeling. If you or a household member are feeling overwhelmed with feelings of fear or anxiety, please call MINES and Associates at 1-800-873-7138. You can also access up-to-date information by logging into your PersonalAdvantage account here. Look for the news alert banner on the top of the page for resources including more tips and news sources with live updates.