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Employee Wellness: Dealing with Anxiety and Fear in the Time of COVID-19

Sandy Smith

The SimplyWell blog produced by Cleveland’s MetroHealth System offers tips for navigating the fear and anxiety associated with COVID-19.

Robert Smith, PhD, director of MetroHealth’s Medical Staff Assistance Program, has advice for managing emotions during uncertain times. A recent blog post reminds us that it’s critical we maintain perspective and support one another during this worldwide crisis, and acknowledges It’s difficult to make sense of a threat we cannot see, don’t fully understand, and are unable to stop.

“Fear, anger, frustration and sadness are normal,” the blog notes, adding: “But we cannot act impulsively. Fear and anxiety are intended only to make us cautious and thoughtful.”

The Tips: Stop, Gather Information, Evaluate, and then Act

Here are some tips to manage your emotions:

  • Be informed, but not over-informed.
  • Use official sources (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ohio Department of Health, etc.) and check periodically – not every 10 minutes.
  • Stay fact-based.
  • Avoid imagining worst possible scenarios and consider most likely scenarios.
  • Remain focused.
  • Ask yourself, “Have I interacted with an active case?”  If not, refocus your thoughts and be positive.
  • Be prepared.
  • Know how to seek care, if needed, and be prepared for a possible quarantine.
  • Manage risk.
  • Stay home, wash your hands for 20 seconds, cover coughs, maintain safe distance of 6 feet during necessary outings (grocery store, pharmacy, etc.).
  • Stand together, but stand apart.
  • Limit physical contact, of course, but maintain contact with your family and friends. They need you – call, text, email, write letters.
  • Be kind.
  • Demonstrate patience, compassion, gratitude and love – now more than ever.

Listen to Dr. Smith's Podcast. He shares some ways to cope with feelings of depression and anxiety related to COVID-19.

April 16, 2020 @ 01:18 PM EDT Manufacturing, Construction, Energy - Oil and Gas Health & Safety

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Comments

Felix Jones's picture
Felix Jones

A lot of the employee stress and anxiety is related to job insecurity and financial concerns. As employers shed unprecedented amount of jobs during this crises, most employees are more worried about their paychecks and it's adding to their overall stress levels. They estimate that this whole situation will cost the economy up to $2.7 trillion. (Source)

July 19, 2020 @ 06:02 AM EDT
khethe aline's picture
khethe aline
July 21, 2020 @ 06:27 AM EDT