By now, you’ve heard about COVID-19 and its impact on world health. While the news media is filled with sensational stories designed to grab your attention, the coronavirus is real and you should take appropriate precautions based on the best data out there. Please visit the CDC website for the best, most up-to-date information.
But there is another virus spreading. The anxiety “virus” is also spreading quickly through a phenomenon known as social contagion. We hear about worst case scenarios in the media, see the impact on the stock market, and discuss what could happen with family, friends, and coworkers. This extreme level of uncertainty gets passed from person to person at the speed of social media, driving up anxiety to panic levels.
If you or a loved one is dealing with anxiety, here are three tools you can use today:
1. Understanding why our brains react this way to anxiety is an important part of controlling it. Dr. Judson Brewer, psychiatrist, neuroscientist and author recorded a short video on three specific steps to combat anxiety. Watch it here.
2. The free “Breathe by Dr. Jud” app provides short, on-demand, anti-anxiety exercises that can help you deal with stress and uncertainty. Download it for Apple devices or Android devices.
3. All of our member colleges provide free, confidential counseling and referral through their Employee Assistance Program. You can find out more about EAP on your schools’ human resources website or access the information here on your school’s Well-being Resource Guide under “Career well-being resources”. You can also access behavioral health support through Cigna at mycigna.com.
Stay safe, stay well.