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  • Dealing With The Coronavirus in 5 Simple Steps

  • In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Dr. Jeffrey K. Zeig and the Erickson Foundation wanted to share this helpful video with information on how to deal with anxiety as it relates to the virus.
    In this brief but effective video, Dr. Zeig walks us through five steps to manage anxiety due to the coronavirus.
     
    Step 1 is Information about the difference between fear and anxiety. We are designed to feel fear because it ensures our survival when there is a real threat -- and we feel this physiologically. With anxiety there may or may not be a real threat, but we still experience fear in a physical way. Anxiety is fear from the things that we create in our mind. It is playing the “What if…?” game, but we cannot predict the future. Yes, there is a coronavirus and it is a physical threat. But anxiety can either push us forward or cripple us. With these steps you can learn how successfully manage your anxiety and harness it to your benefit.
     
    Step 2 is Increase in Tension. This might seem like taking a step backward, but it not. If you can increase your tension or anxiety, then you can also decrease it. The goal is to identify your triggers before you panic.
     
    Step 3 is Awareness. Having anxiety is like being in reverse. This step is going into neutral. Be aware of your anxiety – what you see, what you hear, and what you physically feel. You must get out of your mind to come to your senses.
     
    Step 4 is Find a Safe Place. This may be in isolation or you may fantasize about a safe location. But in order make an action plan, you must first feel safe.
     
    Step 5 is Action. Take action for yourself, your family, your coworkers, and others by doing what is necessary, whether that is washing your hands more, not touching your face, social distancing, wearing a mask and gloves, working from home –whatever it is you need to do to continue to feel safe – and to provide safety for others.
    Remember, we are in this together. 
    Dr. Jeffrey K. Zeig, PhD, is a clinical psychotherapist and family and marriage therapist with 40 years of experience. Zeig is also an author and the founder and director of the Milton H. Erickson Foundation. He travels the world teaching people how to have a more adaptive life.