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Katie Couric Shares 8 Ways to Manage Your Coronavirus-Related Anxiety

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Managing your emotional well-being can be just as important as maintaining your physical health. And during this time of widespread panic concerning the coronavirus, or COVID-19, it is easy to feel fearful and anxious. Suddenly, our day-to-day living routine seems threatened by the virus, and knowing how to take charge of intense feelings is an important part of being able to maintain your sanity. As a mental health professional, I thought I’d share eight things you can do (in no particular) order to help you manage your sanity during this global health crisis.

Understand why you feel overwhelmed.

Take charge of how much information you’re consuming.

Obtaining factual (not fictional) information from a reputable source, like the CDC, where you’re not interacting with others will keep you abreast about COVID-19 without engaging in the chatter.

Develop and write down a health plan.

Then, when you’re with the doctor, share your symptoms list, so you won’t miss anything. And when your worried friend asks why you are traveling or if you’re afraid of getting sick you can say, “I’ve thought of that, and I have a plan in place.” Have confidence in your plan. Be open to feedback, but only to that which is helpful — not unduly critical.

If it is age appropriate, you can tell your children that you’ve thought about COVD-19, and you don’t want them to worry because you’ve put a family health plan together. This will give them confidence and a feeling of safety knowing you’re in charge of their wellness.

Continue healthy practices.

Keep in mind what you can control.

Set aside time for self-care.

Engage your mind and body in positive emotions.

Notice your inner-dialogue.

If you find your fears are disabling and preventing you from working or being able to keep up with your daily responsibilities, you should contact your doctor. They may recommend you seek professional therapy. Many mental health professionals, like myself, do work remotely, so you won’t need to worry about a commute. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness. It can help you discern what actions and next steps are healthy for you.

Kristin Meekhof is an author, Licensed Masters Level Social Worker, and life coach. See more of her work here, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

This originally appeared in Katie Couric’s Wake-Up Call newsletter. Subscribe here.