Coping with Coronavirus-related Anxiety
Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager Emeritus, Oncology, Social Work
MARCH 26, 2020
There is a lot of good advice about protecting ourselves physically during the COVID-19 era, but there is less said about managing the anxiety we are all feeling. Remember FDR's famous quote: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. That was not entirely true then, and it is not entirely true now, but it is a good place to start. Finding ways to appreciate what we have and contain our worries is important.
This is a wonderful list organized by a professional colleague, Thomas Pier, in New York. He has shared it with my professional Listserv and encouraged us to share it widely.
Regarding the first suggestion, Find a therapist, oncology social workers at BIDMC and other institutions are still working and are available for consultation. Many therapists in the community, including me, are transitioning our work to virtual contacts. Talking virtually is definitely not as satisfying as being together in person, but it is a lot better than nothing. Take advantage of this option.
Resources for Coping with Coronavirus-related Anxiety
- Find a therapist
- This is a Good Time to Stop Fighting Anxiety (The New York Times)
- Manage COVID-19 Anxiety & Stress (CDC)
- Care for Your Coronavirus Anxiety (Shine)
- Expert Advice on How to Cope with Your Coronavirus Anxiety (Shine)
- 10 Ways to Ease Your Coronavirus Anxiety (The New York Times)
- Mindfulness Meditation: Mindfulness is willingness to stay present with what is, as it is.
- Meditation for Beginners: Dr. Aditi Nerurkar of BIDMC's Cheng-Tsui Integrated Health Center provides a quick demo on how to meditate.
- Headspace (free to healthcare workers now)
- Ten Percent Happier's Coronavirus Sanity Guide (free)
- UCLA Health's Guided Meditations
- Meditations with Chris Germer
- Self-Compassion Guided Meditations and Exercises by Dr. Kristin Neff
- Insight Timer Free Meditation App
- Calm Meditation and Sleep App
Activities for Home
- Set up a Zoom session and invite select people to read a book (with kids), have Happy Hour, process their worries, tell jokes, etc.
- Walk, speed walk, run around the neighborhood.
- Find a way to be of service like getting groceries for your elderly neighbor, picking up prescriptions, raking someone's yard, washing someone's car, etc.
- Visit the Cincinnati Zoo at Home Safari Facebook Live (daily at 3:00 pm).
- Sign up for Joyful Movement Classes.
- Watch the Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Web Cams for some self-soothing.
- Listen to the Meditative Story podcast.
- Take Yoga and Meditation Classes on YouTube.
- Combat boredom with fun, indoor games for kids.
- Participate in the Social Distancing Festival.
- Take one of these Free Virtual Museum Tours.
- Learn how to Host a Virtual Dinner Party
Do you have other anti-anxiety or home activity tips? Join the BIDMC Cancer Community and share your ideas.