At Jericho Counselling, we have temporarily moved all of our services to phone or video-based counselling in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is to help ensure the safety of our clients and staff. During this time, we are answering our phones and responding to emails as usual and welcome new or returning clients to reach out and ask for the support they need.
As we are experiencing a global pandemic with unprecedented challenges and many uncertainties, it is very natural to experience overwhelming fearful thoughts. Here are some suggestions* that may help you cope.
Help for anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic
Consider that worry is normal
Our responses to stress help us protect ourselves. Be kind to yourself and know this is natural. In addition, be mindful of guilt or shame about your reactions to this stress, as they can compound negative feelings.
Follow trusted news sources
There are a lot of messages about COVID-19 at present. Focusing on information from trusted news sources such as the government, World Health Organization and CDC can help ensure you have accurate information, based on science. Reduce time on social media as it may circulate unverified information and can exacerbate fears.
Focus on what you can do
It is easy to get caught up with and respond emotionally to government and business decisions made during this time. Focus on areas you have more control over, such as hand washing, social distancing, self-care and eliminating non-essential travel. This can give you more of a sense of empowerment during this time.
Try home-based self-care
Make a list of home-based self-care activities that are safe and calming. Those may include: listening to calming music, doing gentle yoga-based stretches, meditation or taking a bubble bath. If you have the time, try to do at least one of these activities per day. If you can safely leave your home, consider going for a walk. You may also try some deep breathing exercises.
Prioritize healthy habits
It can be difficult to maintain a schedule with disruptions to work, child care and school. Whenever possible, it is still important to maintain good sleeping habits and eat healthy food as it helps both the immune system and has a stabilizing effect on one’s emotions.
Find safe social outlets
Maintain social contact by phone, Facetime, joining others for an online game or helping someone in your community while maintaining social distancing.
If you are caring for children, consider finding age-appropriate resources for them about COVID-19 and reviewing them together. Engage them in self-care activities and limit their exposure to news. If you are supporting another family member who is in panic, you may want to share this article with them.
Seek professional support
As needed, it is important to stay in touch with your doctor and speak with your pharmacist. If you are having ongoing anxiety that does not get alleviated with self-care, you may want to consider speaking to a counsellor. Jericho Counselling offers secure online and phone-based appointments. Learn more at https://www.jerichocounselling.com/secure-online-counselling/.
*This advice is not meant to replace the directions of a physician.