I stubbed my toe! I wonder if I have COVID?

November 3rd, 2020

A runny nose. A slight cough. A stomach ache. An aching toe. These days, all of these can make your heart beat a little faster. Get you thoughts racing. You worry, “I hope its not COVID!”

Life is challenging in 2020. You know that. Our collective anxiety, depression, and stress are up. We are on high alert; scared of getting sick, losing our jobs, never seeing our family and friends again. The list goes on.

So what can we do? We can’t change the reality of the pandemic, so how do we approach our ceaseless worry?

First off, I suggest we don’t judge ourselves. Your fears aren’t silly. Most people have them. Our brain is doing what it’s supposed to do…trying to keep us safe by being on the outlook for danger. Judging yourself will only make it worse. Adding criticism to fear is a nasty combination.

Next, remind yourself that it’s normal to feel afraid during a pandemic. Pandemics are scary. It’s just a fact.

You may also want to keep yourself in today. When you find yourself worring about the future, what the world will look like, if you’ll ever be able to go to a concert, board a plane, or ride the metro again…try to remind yourself that this is one day at a time. We simply need to get through today. You may be afraid or sad, but try to get out of future thinking by placing yourself in the emotions of today, what it is happening right in front of you, your breath, feeling your feet on the ground, petting your dog or cat.

Also, don’t forget to reach out. A friend or family member will be glad to hear from you. If you decided to talk about your feelings and worries, it’s likely they’ll share them. Human connection can be the best antidote to calming fears and anxiety. Seek it out regularly.

If you’re looking for a therapist during this time of uncertainty, feel free to contact Mike Giordano at 202-460-6384 or Mike.Giordano.MSW@gmail.com.

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