March 12, 2020
Lets be honest; we dont know what to think, stock is down, universities are closing, and sporting events are canceling. This lack of knowledge can be just as terrifying as knowing. This is out of our control, which can give us a feeling of being trapped.To some this is a joke, to some this is stressful and most of us are unsure.
There is hysteria pertaining to the coronavirus and the United States. I first want to define hysteria. Simply put, hysteria is panic and exaggeration among a group of people. I am not saying this is valid nor invalid but rather defining the term, which seems appropriate when looking at all news and social media channels.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has been given the term “pandemic” and the word alone may be stressful for people and communities. Pandemic means the disease is prevalent over the whole country or world, which is true when following the news. Terror and nervousness about a disease can be overpowering and cause intense emotions in adults and children.
People are worried about airports shutting down, their families that live far away, events canceling and their kiddos. ALL relevant, but how can we take care of our mental health at the same time?
Everybody responds differently to stressful conditions. The emotional impact of an emergency on an individual can depend on the persons individualities and experiences, the social and economic statuses of the person and their community, and the convenience of local resources. People can become more distraught if they see repeated pictures or hear recurrent reports about COVID-19 in the media.
We should be mindful of all individuals because we do not know other triggers or conditions. Children are too young to comprehend and maybe picking up on just the negative. The elderly already have a tough time fighting off illness, added stress only further lowers their immune system. Lastly, let us not forget the individuals who are on the frontlines treating the virus.
Stay in touch with family friends and community. This is where community strengthens. If there is ever a direct threat, communities align in such a special way.
The most important take-away is to take care of yourself and each other and know when and how to seek help. Although there seems to be hysteria, it does start with some version of the truth. It is vital for you to call your healthcare provider if you are under extreme stress.
There are several plans and suggestions that licensed professionals have suggested here are my two favorites!
Dr. Susman gives us some great ideas on healthy activities to distract yourself.
Amanda White- Owner of Therapy for Women, gave great tips here.
Read this article on Secondary Trauma
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I am Tesa Saulmon, I am here sharing my story, experiences, thoughts and motivations, letting people know NOTHING can keep you down, unless you allow it to.