Dr. Jean Ibric would like to share some advice in handling stress, worry, and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is common to feel stressed and anxious during this time. Recognizing how we are feeling and giving it a name will help to manage the feeling. Most likely we are all feeling grief. Our world has changed and now it doesn’t feel temporary. We are grieving our old ways. We are anticipating the worst, uncertain for our futures. People are grieving individually and in groups. By now most of us have progressed through the first four stages of grief:
The first stage is denial. This won’t affect me, my job or income. We’ll be ok.
The second stage is anger. Everything is closed; I have to stay home; my pay was cut.
The third stage is bargaining. If we wash our hands, wear masks and stand 6 feet apart, we will be safe, and this will pass quickly.
The fourth stage is sadness. When will this end? When will we be able to pay our bills, take a vacation, see our families, celebrate with them again?
The fifth and one of the final stages is acceptance. When we accept our grief and sadness, we can begin to control our feelings.
Some techniques to help include remaining in the present, try not to mourn the past or imagine the worst for the future. Let go of things we can’t control, and focus on what we can. Let yourself feel the grief and sadness and work through it, not against it.
It is recommended wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where it may be difficult to practice social distancing such as the grocery store or pharmacy. We can feel useful by making masks while at home. On the other hand, homemade hand sanitizer has not shown to be effective. Practice good hand washing.
There is no evidence that items shipped from affected areas spread COVID-19 and there have not been any cases caused from eating take-out. We can support local restaurants and shop online to support local businesses.
All of the precautions we are taking are correct, they are working. We will survive this together.
If you are having difficulty with the stress and sadness, are not sure if you have COVID-19 symptoms or if you are otherwise not feeling well, reach out to you primary care doctor — many physicians are conducting virtual office visits.
Dr. Jean Ibric
Board Certified Family Practice
IBVI Onsite Clinic Doctor