Viewing media coverage of COVID-19 can bring a range of emotions. It can be important to be informed, but we have to be aware of how the coverage may be impacting us. Understand that this is a very unusual time in our life, so it's ok to have mixed emotions. Allow yourself to feel, whatever you are feeling. Give yourself a break, treat yourself with respect. Today may not have been my most productive day, but it's ok. I have already planned some goals for tomorrow and I will make it up tomorrow. Practice some of the skills (Mindfulness or distress tolerance) that you have already learned to deal with your emotions.
Here are a few recommendations from the American Psychological Association regarding viewing coverage of the Coronavirus:
- Keep things in perspective
- Take a deep breath and remind yourself of the facts. It is especially life-threatening for those people who have an underlying health issue or elderly. The safety measures, such as Stay-at-home order, are put in practice for all of us because we want to keep our family safe. The fact that there is a great deal of news coverage on this issue does not necessarily mean that it presents a threat to you or your family.
- Get the facts
- Find a credible source you can trust. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a webpage dedicated to information on the coronavirus outbreak (including methods of prevention). You may also find useful information from local (UM is providing updates HERE) or state public health agencies or even your family physician.
- Keep Connected
- Maintaining social networks can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. Feel free to share useful information you find on credible websites with your friends and family. It will help them deal with their own anxiety.
- Seek additional help
- Individuals who feel an overwhelming nervousness, a lingering sadness, or other prolonged reactions that adversely affect their job performance or interpersonal relationships should consult with a trained and experienced mental health professional. UM CAPS continues to be a resource for urgent mental health needs, ongoing work, and referrals into the community.