Feeling Nervous, Anxious, or on Edge? Some Ideas to Help with COVID-19 Concerns

Many people struggle with anxiety on a day-to-day basis. Now, with this virus, there are a lot more of us and, for some, that anxiety is so much higher right now. According to KOAA.com, the state health department conducted a survey and found that over 50% of us are feeling that way. Almost everyone (96%) is concerned about the Coronavirus.

First, let me state that anxiety is normal, especially under these circumstances. That is because anxiety is about preparation and readiness when there is a major concern about our lives or the lives of our loved ones. It can be the fight-flight process, which is about survival.

Also, when we have to make so many dramatic adjustments in such a short period of time, we can feel stressed, nervous, and anxious. We have moved quickly to take action that is recommended or we think is best for us.

However, for many of us, that anxiety is so high that we are really struggling to cope, focus, feel okay. Sometimes, that is because we have to adjust to all these changes.

According to the state survey, the majority of the people are working from home or are home because of job changes so they struggle with being away from coworkers and other supports (other people are homebodies so they may be appreciating being home from work; many people dislike their jobs so they, too, may be more relaxed at the moment).

Because we are not used to working from home, you may want to reach out to others from your job if you are not already. It can increase productivity for some of us because we need social interaction. Extroverted people benefit from talking with others. It gives them energy. Besides that, you may need to consult with others about the work you are trying to do. It is hard to be home and work if you are not used to it. We are accustomed to working at the job and doing family and household activities at home. It is a big adjustment. Be patient with yourself (and ask your boss for help, too, if you are not getting much done).

Others, are worried about the economy. Some have been laid off or are in jeopardy of losing their job. We don’t know what is going to happen, but we can see that there are number of efforts by many different people, businesses, organizations, and the government. Congress passed a stimulus bill. Banks, credit unions, and other companies are working with people to help defer payments or obtain loans in the short term. I am not saying we should not be concerned. I am not an expert, but I think that it helps to observe what is being done. Some businesses even seem to be booming because of our needs for food and other supplies. They apparently are hiring people at this time. Some companies are re-purposing to help with the efforts to care for those who are sick. Restaurants are providing drive-up and curbside service. There is a lot going on. It is just very different than it had been.

Many of us are not used to staying at home for long periods of time. (I can get really restless just being home for a day.) It can be a challenge, but we shelter in place to stay safe. Most of us know that physical activity is important to our health. But many of us are used to working out at the gym so it is another adjustment to do it at home. There are those, like the YMCA, who are helping provide virtual workouts. (That reminds me, I should be checking those out, too). There are outdoor advocates who are suggesting getting out but staying safe (“Get Out Spread Out”) by maintaining social distancing while on trails or in parks.

Then, there are our children. There are so many different situations. Some have been on Spring Break for a couple weeks while many are doing some homework. There are those who are even working ahead with an incentive program from mom and dad, earning some screen time. Some are bored. They are missing their friends and teachers. Some are disappointed with the limitations of staying in so much. They love their family but this is a lot of family time. Some seem unaware of what is going on. Homes seem to be handling this situation with their children teens in a lot of different ways. A lot has to be sorted out. Staying calm and approaching things thoughtfully seem to benefit these children.

Fortunately, many children and teens are going to be doing something online or digital soon in many school districts. In the meantime, KOAA.com has listed several resources like this one.

Of course, there are some young people who struggle with issues like anxiety and depression so this is a challenging time for them and their parents. Try to get the support you need as a parent and for your child. Hopefully, you have some family and friends you can talk to, maybe, right now, a lot. Some need a little extra help. While you cannot go to a therapist’s office, hopefully, you can do sessions online. Some insurance companies are even covering costs, like copays, related to telehealth for physical and mental health issues.

I hope this has been helpful. I have been talking to a lot of people virtually, and some of these ideas seem to be helpful. I want to contribute some thoughts and resources that help at this unprecedented time of rapid change. Let me know.

In closing, again thanks to KOAA.com, I want to mention that there are a lot of free activities you can do online, from online concerts to online workouts to online mindfulness or meditation activities to virtual tours of museums to free family activities. Maybe, I could walk through a museum virtually while standing. (I get tired of sitting.)

For those of us so inclined, attending live faith services virtually or recorded ones can provide us with hope during a time we really need reassurance.

I hope it is okay with you, but I would like to finish with this thought and prayer based on Numbers 6: May the LORD bless you and protect you, smile on you and be gracious to you, and show you His favor and give you His peace.

If I can be of any assistance, please contact me here or call (right now, my virtual) office at 719-460-4185.

Take care!