Obsessed with the coronavirus? I know you are because we all are.
We become obsessed with things that are out of our control. It’s because our brains must work overtime to process the incredible changes we are experiencing.
As a result, it can be hard to get ourselves to think about anything other than the news as this historic event unfolds.
What’s the likelihood of a successful vaccine? How do you make good choices for yourself and others? What will be the economic fallout? These issues and more are all on our minds, for sure.
5 Big Challenges of getting through this global pandemic.
- The suddenness of it: You may have heard of the virus spreading overseas a few weeks ago, but it seemed very far removed at that time. Then, seemingly quite suddenly, it’s here. In fact, it’s not only here, but it is affecting you. The world has come to a screeching stop.
- Powerlessness: Human beings are notoriously bad about dealing with things that are out of our control. In many ways, we all find ourselves standing by and watching the virus infect more people. There is little we can do and it is hard.
- Constant News: Every day we wake up to more bad news for us to consume. Then, it continues all day; more news coming in about how the virus is spreading, how poorly people are responding to calls to stay home to prevent the virus spread, and much, much more. It is easy to become obsessed and overwhelmed with all this information.
- Social Isolation: Let’s face it, we’re all lonely. Trapped in our homes, there is little to do but wait.
- Reality-based fear: Most likely you are worried about your own personal finances. Whether you are laid off, facing a lay-off, concerned about the value of your home, or concerned about meeting your bills, we all watch as the global economy suffers. We worry about our future. It’s normal.
As the world closes down around us, and as life as we’ve known it comes to a halt, we must cope.
We have been educated about a number of physical precautions to take: 6’ social distance, stay at home, hand washing, and more. But in an event this extensive and impactful, it’s not just your physical health at stake. It’s imperative to watch out for your emotional health too. There are some things we should all be aware of. It’s important.
3 Reasons it’s Important to Take Emotional Precautions
- Your emotional and psychological state have a powerful impact on your immunity. It is vital to take special care of it.
- You may be closed up in a house with your family or roommate. They are affected by your emotional state and their immunity can also be affected by your emotional health.
- Taking emotional precautions will help you make better decisions through these frightening, challenging, nebulous times.
5 Emotional Precautions You Should Take During The Global Pandemic
- Pay attention to your feelings and allow yourself to feel them: Some of us are more likely than others to fail at this one. We march through all of the sudden changes and anxiety without ever paying attention to how we are actually feeling about it. If you grew up in a family that was blind to emotions (Childhood Emotional Neglect or CEN) you are probably now blind to your own emotions. But in this situation, it is important to pause, focus on your feelings, and identify them. Are you feeling frightened? Concerned? Sad? Disappointed? Lost? Alone? Fearful? Helpless? Hopeless? It might be anything. But it’s important for you to know, and it will help you feel better to know.
- Help yourself feel less powerless by doing what you can: Follow the recommendations for social distancing. Use your good judgment balancing self-care and care for others. Offer assistance for those around you who need it. Support others and look for support when you need it.
- Limit your news consumption to certain times of day: Reading every news notification that comes in all day long will consume you and alter your brain chemicals. You can set some healthy limits for yourself! For example, read the news first thing in the morning; then don’t read it again until the next morning. Do not worry, the news will wait for you.
- Use the phone, Skype, and FaceTime to connect with loved ones: During these lonely times, it is extra crucial to reach out. Check in with people. Call someone and say, “I’m lonely. Want to chat?” Most likely that person is lonely too.
- Use this opportunity to grow in some way: Perhaps you can reframe this situation from “global pandemic” to “opportunity.” It’s a chance to tune in and pay attention to yourself because, in a way, external distractions are minimized. Choose a way you’ve been wanting to improve yourself and go with it.
I cannot stress this enough: If you are accustomed to ignoring your feelings, you are now at risk.
Ignoring what you’re feeling allows your neglected emotions to become stronger. Those ignored feelings can cause headaches, backaches, multiple other physical problems but, most importantly right now, they can lower your immunity.
Did you grow up in a family that did not “do feelings?” Were few feeling words used in your childhood home? Do you fail to pay attention to your emotions on a day to day basis now? These are all signs of Childhood Emotional Neglect or CEN.
If your answer to any of those questions is, “Maybe,” then I have a great suggestion for you. Use the extra time you have right now to reflect on whether you missed out on learning some emotion skills while you were growing up.
Then take all that energy you’re putting into worrying and apply it to addressing your emotional reactions to your current life events.
Consider the possibility that you grew up in a family with Childhood Emotional Neglect. To find out Take the Emotional Neglect Test. It’s free and you can find the link below in my bio.
You can use this time to start learning about CEN and reuniting with your own feelings. You’ll find how-tos for all of that in the book, Running On Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect. Link below.
Share your feelings about your pandemic experience by posting them in a comment below. Also, wishing you good health!
Coronavirus Resource: Psych Central Coronavirus Resource Page