It’s only natural for people to be on edge when news of a pandemic hits. While, for many, this can call for an increase in sanitary measures and caution, focusing excessively on anything is never a good thing. Widespread media coverage can easily cause fear and stress in anyone, so it is important to maintain levelheadedness. There are many ways to combat anxiety amid an outbreak.
First, ensure you are mindful of your exposure to the news. The media tends to bring about an increased amount of fear and negativity. Stay informed on the situation, but make sure you are consuming trusted news sources without bingeing on every single news report. Too much news exposure can make the threat appear worse than it is instead of containing it (Degges-White).
When too much focus is placed on the future, our present selves suffer. Especially if you have kids, managing your own anxiety can help immensely in reducing their fears. Children can easily pick up on signs of distress. Normalizing their fears and reassuring them that you can handle the issue can help ease their fears (Moukaddam). Educating your children on hygiene, proper preventative measures, and the spread of germs is crucial during these times.
Getting news of disease outbreaks is never a pleasant experience. Issues like these are not always the most straightforward situations to handle. Controlling your media intake and reassuring yourself and your family is imperative to handling stress and anxiety. Above all else, stay calm and take care of yourself!
Degges-White, Suzanne. “COVID-19 Anxiety: Control Your Controllables.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 5 Mar. 2020, www.psychologytoday.com/ie/blog/lifetime-connections/202003/covid-19-anxiety-control-your-controllables.
Moukaddam, Nidal. “Fears, Outbreaks, and Pandemics: Lessons Learned.” Psychiatric Times, 15 Nov. 2019, www.psychiatrictimes.com/anxiety/fears-outbreaks-and-pandemics-lessons-learned.