By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
Earlier this month, I was asked by Jenelle Janci, an editor and reporter at LNP in Lancaster, Pa., to comment on mental and emotional health related to the re-opening of the United States as we suffer and navigate the continuing effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. She excerpted some of my thoughts in today's article here, and I’m sharing the full interview below:
How are feelings of anxiety and other mental health issues around reopening different than what people might have experienced at the beginning of the stay-at-home order?
It’s easier to manage a difficult experience when we know there’s an end to the experience. With this pandemic, the stay-at-home order may be modified and eventually lifted, but the Coronavirus hasn’t gone anywhere. We are still asked to face this highly infectious virus with lots of uncertainties.
People’s anxieties may focus on different parts of this collective experience. Some may feel anxious about their health and worry about
By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
You may have lots of feelings about the coronavirus, the new virus that causes a respiratory infection. I know that I do. It is easy to fear what we don’t know, and judging from reports of people emptying shelves of toilet paper and antiseptic supplies and the sharing of my own clients and others I work with, there is a lot of fear and tension out there.
As a health professional in my corner of the world, I am charged with the responsibility of protecting my clients and caring for myself. I also strive to act as a role model about how to act and respond at times of stress.
I’ve already altered several of my habits, such as washing my hands much more frequently and thoroughly and practicing how to refrain from touching my face, a key way that the virus spreads. I'm also touching elevator buttons, door handles and other public places with my scarf, paper towels or tissues instead of my fingers.
First, breathe and stay calm.
The regular flu – influenza – kills thousands of people each year. However, fear seems to travel faster than the actual virus and we are challenged to take practical steps to protect ourselves and our community while staying calm and alert.
Then, can we look at the virus with a curious eye? I like this meditation that I found on YouTube that nudges me to move away from fear and towards curiosity.
Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP, is an author, trainer and psychotherapist who promotes, practices and teaches experiential methods including psychodrama, Family and Systemic Constellations, mindfulness and Tarot imagery.
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