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Managing fear of coronavirus

Woman at home feeling worried after checking COVID-19 symptoms online

Are your fears about the coronavirus more dangerous than the virus itself? In the latest episode of Let’s Get Moving,  licensed Clinical Psychologist, Liz Hale, explained how our thoughts could be more harmful to us than the pandemic and how managing fear of the coronavirus is possible and effective.

“It’s not just the virus that is affecting us, it is all the changes happening as well,” said Hale.

How do we manage our fear?

“The only thing more contagious than a virus is fear in hope.”

According to Hale, whatever you focus on grows so there is importance in perspective.

“Anxiety and fear really have a survival value to them,” said Hale.  “They help us plan they help us prepare and they help us protect.”

What is the difference between anxiety and panic?

“We feel the way we think,” Hale stated. “It is not what happens to us it is our thinking about what happens to us.”

According to Hale, we are not disturbed by the things that happen to us, but simply by our views of the things that happen to us.

Keep things in perspective

“Notice what your distorted thoughts are and find the advantages,” Hale said. “when you keep it in perspective, really 98 or 99 percent of us who will contract the virus, will recover fully. ”

We are stuck right now with the fear of the unknown. Hale stated it is up to us to do the best we can within our own circles to combat anxiety.

“We need to watch our thoughts and acknowledge them,” stated Hale.

Ground yourself

“I just have to take into stock all of these things that really still are normal and try to balance my anxiety.” Maria Shilaos stated.

Hale explained it is important to think about where can we give, as focusing on giving back will result in deep gratitude.

Say yes to the mess

“Say yes to the mess,” Hale said. “Sometimes we get so stuck in thinking about how much we don’t want this new reality… experiment with saying yes to where we are now.”

“I am going to milk the time that I have with my children around me,” said Hale. “We may look back and wish we would have savored it more.”

“When you can’t do what you do, do what you can,” Hale stated.  “See what you can do and focus on that vs what you can’t.”

“We are so blessed to still have the internet, electricity, hot water, etc.”

“The circus has really given us a chance to reset, remember what is important, and encourages us to reconnect with family and community,” said Hale.

“Notice what your thoughts are, and say to yourself what can I keep and what can I dial down?” Hale advised.

Resources for help

Dr. David Burns: Feeling Good

The Disaster Distress Helpline

1-800-985-5990

Listen to the full episode

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