Managing anxiety during COVID-19

Published: March 23, 2020 · Updated: March 25, 2020

Anxiety By Thomas Andre Fure/Shutterstock

For most cottagers, whether they’re at the lake or at home, managing anxiety during COVID-19 is probably tough. But it truly pays to stay calm. Anxiety can in fact hurt your immune system, says Sam Klarreich, a psychologist in Toronto, and unfortunately, make you less able to fight off viruses of any kind. “It’s in your best interests not to be anxious,” says Klarreich. Well, easier said than done, right? Still, here are a few tips to keep the worrisome thoughts at bay.

Don’t imagine what hasn’t actually happened. “Fear comes from thinking about the worst case scenario as if it’s already reality,” says Klarreich. Running through catastrophic “what ifs” (What if I get sick? What if I lose my job? What if this goes on forever?) isn’t helpful. It doesn’t change anything in the present.

Vigilance is not the same as anxiety. Vigilance makes sense. “Replace anxiety with concern,” says Klarreich. “Pay attention to what’s happening. Follow the actions that you’re supposed to take.”

Watch and read the news to get updates and stay informed. Just don’t do it non-stop. Your mind needs a break from COVID-19.

If you see someone over-buying—food, paper products, soap and cleaning wipes—don’t follow suit out of panic. “Remind yourself, ‘This is ultimately not helpful to me, and it’s not helpful to anyone else,’” says Klarreich. “Use the logical part of your brain, not the emotional part.”

If you need more tips on managing anxiety during COVID-19, visit the Center for Disease Control’s info web page.

Here’s what to do if you have COVID-19 at the cottage.

Please note as this situation is constantly evolving, government directives are subject to change. Check back for updates.

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