Hearing and reading updates about the Coronavirus can cause some of us to feel exceptionally anxious and fearful.
If you find you are experiencing “virus information overload,” here are some suggestions for managing the daily deluge of details received from news outlets and social media.
1) Limit the amount of time you peruse the news.
We live in a world where information on any topic is easily accessible and constantly at our fingertips. If we’re not careful, we can find ourselves spending more time than necessary immersed in reports about the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving us feeling helpless, hopeless and distressed.
Try to reduce the time you are spending each day following updates that come through social media, emails and newscasts by giving yourself a designated amount of time to watch and read news sources. Managing your time in this way can empower you to control the amount of content you are absorbing.
2) Refer to trusted and current resources.
Make an effort to eliminate all of the extraneous media noise by accessing accurate information. Stay informed about COVID-19 by visiting the national and international sources noted below:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: cdc.gov
- World Health Organization: www.who.int
For local information, access city and state health resources. In Oklahoma, these include the following:
- Oklahoma State Dept. of Health: coronavirus.health.ok.gov
- Tulsa Health Department: tulsa-health.org
- OKC-County Health Department: occhd.org
3) Connect with others for companionship and solace.
Another benefit of spending less time viewing on-going media updates is having more time for more uplifting opportunities, such as reaching-out to family members and friends.
Offering comfort to one another and sharing laughs, thoughts, and memories with each other can help soothe the anxiety we might feel in difficult times.
There are plenty of ways to connect each day while also practicing physical distancing, whether through texts, phone calls, emails, social media messages, video-conferencing or written letters. There is no more effective way to calm your fears than to connect with the ones you love.
4) Shape your point of view.
As you educate yourself about the latest events surrounding COVID-19, also practice positive self-talk and thinking. This can be helpful in directing the way you approach and process the information during this challenging period.
- Know that progress is being made daily towards finding solutions, and human acts of kindness are happening all around us. Say: “Together we will make it.”
- Focus on what you can control today, including your attitude, behaviors and routines. Say: “I will take things one day at a time.”
- Remind yourself that this situation will not continue forever. Say: “Like anything else, this too shall pass.”
- Realize that others share your same concerns and feelings and that this life-changing experience touches all of us. Say: “I am not alone.”
- Tom Philp, LPC, CEO
Stonebridge Couples Therapy