Staying Calm during Corona Virus Days Ahead

So, there’s a new virus in town?  Stay calm through the anxiety ahead by following these simple tips:

1. Stop watching social media at a high rate – social media is absorbing a great deal of free space with the corona virus topic, and dare I say, with all the attendant tragedy.  Your news feeds, television and even go to’s like twitter, facebook and instagram are filled with these stories.  Try your best to tune them out.  Promise yourself you’ll only read once or twice a day about the virus, as this will keep you up to date with the latest developments without inundating you constantly with information – most of which you already have. 

2. Recognize that it is normal to have some fear and anxiety over it, but also recognize that if you find yourself ruminating about it and taking excessive actions like running from Costco to Costco to get that last hand santizer, consider you may be acting a bit abnormally with regard to the fear.  Ask yourself “am I having an alarmist response, or just moving forward with a plan?”  Consider your plan: is it reasonable or is it doomsday based?  Step away from the doomsday perspective and try to balance the realistic challenges that lay ahead and need to be managed against those that are unreasonable – such as prepacking a getaway car.

3. Avoid language that is scare-mongering.  If people around you are having those kinds of conversations, consider leaving the area, as they are often simply ways of people “blowing off the steam of anxiety.”  However, even in such cases this heightened rhetoric can lead to feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.  Yes, there are deaths associated with this virus, but most health leaders suggest it is relatively rare at this point – so tell yourself not to freak.

4. Try to stay optimistic and shy away from fatalistic thoughts.  When you find yourself thinking fatalistic thoughts, stop yourself and have a catch phrase to help you through it – something like:  “Wait a minute, let’s not get carried away.” Change the subject in you own mind to something you need to do today – whether it is taking care of some business or visiting a friend.

5. Accept that nothing is certain and that you are not helpless.  Focus on what you can do – such as washing your hands regularly, standing well clear of people who are coughing or sneezing, taking charge of your environment whether at work or at home by making sure you are keeping things sanitary and staying aware of the condition of people who approach your door.  You might want to put that trip to the Great Wall on the back burner, and maybe postpone international trips to key areas.