When a family becomes stressed, everyone feels anxious. The anxiety moves easily from person to person in the family. Anxiety that affects one, affects all. It can be contagious.
For the past several months, our country and our communities have gone through a very stressful time. In some states, restrictions are beginning to get lifted while others remain the same. We are tired of hearing phrases such as “lockdown”, “quarantine”, “pandemic”, “laid off”, “unemployed”, and want our world to go back to normal and to conduct business as usual.
However, the thought of re-entering the world without the proper vaccine or cure has caused a great deal of anxiety for many of us. It is difficult to accept that our world has changed and that this has become our new normal.
It is important for us to rely on the facts and make every effort to remain calm and non-reactive. We can take responsibility for ourselves and our families and practice good hygiene, remain home if we are feeling sick, use regular hand washing, avoid large crowds or being around someone we know has been sick or exposed. This is all we can control. We cannot control much else.
Accepting the fact that we have no control other than being mindful of how we protect ourselves, can relieve a lot of anxiety. We have a part to play in this and it is our job to take good care of ourselves. Although many businesses may begin to reopen, it is your choice whether you return to your salon or favorite restaurant. You can choose not to return to business as usual.
For some with post-traumtatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or other forms of debilitating anxiety, coronavirus is a growing mental health threat. Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in the U.S. It can cause physical and psychological symptoms. The fear of the coronavirus has crippled so many. Worrying about the coronovirus can indeed lead to illness.
Therefore, let’s take ownership for our own well-being and be extremely vigilant in our self care. We need to take care of our immune system and treat ourselves with extra care and attention. We can teach this to our children and do it without fear. Anxiety spreads and is contagious. We do not want to spread this anxiety to our children.
Do something that soothes you, whether it’s taking a walk, reading a good book, or journaling. Limit how often you watch the news. Redirect yourself to something you enjoy. You can watch a funny movie with your family. Laughter is healing.
If you find that you cannot manage the anxiety, seek professional treatment during this time as it can be most helpful. You can think of it as a temporary solution while the pandemic is in full force.
When you can reduce your own anxiety, you will notice a significant difference within your family members. When you become less reactive, there are fewer symptoms and the family is freer to be the best it can be.
At the Hellenic Therapy Center, 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, New Jersey, we offer ZOOM, Phone or FaceTime sessions. We provide individual, family and couple therapy. For further information call (908) 322-0112 or visit www.hellenictherapy.com We are available day, evening and weekend hours