SUICIDE PREVENTION
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Soldier conducts a foot march.

Pandemic Anxiety

Creating a Healthy Mindset during a Pandemic

It's normal to have negative thoughts that pop into our minds, especially when in the midst of a pandemic. When we simply accept the original negative thoughts and believe them as being true, our anxiety grows. Instead, by practicing balanced and accurate ways of thinking, we can create more healthy thoughts and in turn calm our emotional reactions.

Negative Positive
I'm stuck at home. I get to be safe in my home. I can stay active by starting projects, regularly exercising, and finding other ways to connect.
There's nothing I can do to stop it. I'm going to get sick. There are things I can do to decrease my chance of getting sick, such as practicing physical distancing, washing my hands, staying home as directed, using gloves or masks as needed.
What if I catch it and won’t be able to get treatment? It's ok to be anxious, but I also need to remember that significant medical advancements are being developed, including potential treatments and vaccines.
This is going to last forever. Although it's scary to not know when this will end, other areas are already beginning to resume normalcy. This won't go on forever and there are things I can do now to help the crisis resolve.
I've got to buy extra. I just know that I will run out of items at home during self-isolation. Despite some hoarding of goods, markets are being replenished regularly. I am prepared as best I can be and if I need more in the future, I can figure it out then.
Everything is shutting down. I’m panicking. Essential services like grocery stores, medical centers and pharmacies remain open. While it’s normal for me to be concerned, there’s no need to panic.
There is too much uncertainty right now. While it’s true that there is a lot of uncertainty, I need to remember that I continue to have control of my own actions. In that, I can find a sense of certainty.
Our healthcare systems are going to be overwhelmed. Experience tells us that healthcare systems struggle during a pandemic. However, I can take an active role in reducing the burden on our healthcare system by using physical distancing, good hygiene and only going to the hospital when medically indicated.
I can’t see my loved ones. Even though I can’t see my loved ones in person due to physical distancing, there are still many ways I can stay connected (i.e., Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, What’s App, Marco Polo).
I don’t know what I’ll do if I can’t see my mental health provider. Across the mental health field, providers are rapidly initiating telehealth services. I can reach out to my mental health provider to access services.
I’m afraid I’m going to die. During a pandemic, a large number of people will be asymptomatic carriers of a virus and most of those who are symptomatic are expected to fully recover.

Sources
Center for Deployment Psychology