Is All of the Talk About the Coronavirus Increasing Anxiety?
Coronavirus is all anyone is talking about – friends, family, every TV channel, and all social media (and now us too!). But – unlike many other voices and posts – Erika’s Lighthouse won’t add to your anxiety. In fact, we are here to help.
Take the following steps to promote positive mental health in this time of uncertainty:
Limit your social media exposure:
Given that your school is probably closed and all activities have been cancelled, what are you supposed to do other than scroll, scroll, scroll through social media? We get it. You’re not likely to limit your exposure to social media. But you can and should limit your exposure to negativity. The next time you are scrolling through, any time you see someone posting or sharing something designed to stoke fear or worse, anger, simply hide their posts for 30 days. We recommend this even if the topic is not coronavirus; it really makes social media so much more enjoyable! When the thirty days is up, you can decide one at a time on which voices you want to add back to your general feed.
Choose Valid Sources of Information:
If you have been relying on social media for your up-to-the-minute COVID-19 information, you can go, instead, to the links below for facts you need to make the right decisions for yourself and everyone around you. You should also be selective about which TV channels you watch, especially news shows that seem to offer over-the-top headlines rather than straight facts. Our recommendations: World Health Organization, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Take good care of yourself:
Follow the recommendations: avoid exposure to crowds, wash your hands, and sneeze and cough into your bent elbow. These last two should be a habit for all of us anyway. The first one – avoiding crowds – is probably the most powerful way we have to limit the spread of the virus.
Also get exercise: take long walks, do yoga.
Don’t forget about your mental health. Stay in contact with friends and family via video chats, email, phone calls and texts. Host dinners through FaceTime, Hangouts or another video call service and remotely dine with friends and family. Practice calming breathing techniques and meditation. Share your other ideas on our Facebook page. We’re in this together.
Make being ‘stuck’ at home as fun as you can. Do activities that bring you joy. Spend time with your family. Cook with them, watch movies, read, sit and have dinner together. Pull out the board games. Re-read a favorite book. Take some free online classes on topics you’re interested in but you can’t get in school. All of this social distancing is unprecedented. Take the opportunity to make it a time you will look back on and enjoy the memory.
Stay safe and be well.
The team at Erika’s Lighthouse knows how challenging and difficult this transition is on our teens, educators, parents and others. We are here to help and support our young people. We have launched an exciting new campaign that will provide meaningful, practical resources for teens, educators and parents.