For most, the experience of Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a very new and scary time. In light of this, below are some simple steps to help you keep calm as we navigate this novel experience together.
Step 1 - Acknowledge how you are feeling. We are hardwired to feel fear as a means of survival when faced with a threat to our lives. When we experience anxiety there may or may not be a real threat, but we still experience it the same way, and thus will process it as a real threat. During this time, there is a real threat. However the anxiety associated with it may make this even more challenging. Anxiety is the fear we create with our mind. For example, asking yourself "what if....?" In times like these, it is important to try and the calm the mind and avoid the temptation to create scenarios in your mind.
Step 2 - Be aware of your anxiety triggers. Notice what you are seeing, what you are hearing, and what physical responses you may be having to this. Do you need to set boundaries with yourself and others around how much information you are seeing and hearing about the Coronavirus?
Step 3 - Take some time out. Can you press pause on the technology that may be associated with your triggers? Take some deep breaths, then turn your attention to something that makes you happier. This could be watching something light-hearted or interesting on Netflix, reading a book, playing a game, doing a puzzle, cooking/baking, doing an online workout, or pursing something creative.
Step 4 - Reach out. Connect with those who help you feel calm or distract you in a positive way. Identify what professional services may be open or available online to assist you through this challenging time.
Step 5- Identify where you are safe. Take the adequate precautions necessary to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. If you're unsure what that is, you can access an up to date version of Australia's measures here.