As the coronavirus (COVID-19) makes its way to the U.S. many Americans are grappling with anxiety. We asked David Bond, a LCSW and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan's Director of Behavioral Health for some tips on dealing with the stress of looming threat.
“It’s normal to experience worry and concern about the coronavirus," Bond said. "It is also important to remember that we are not helpless, and you have the power to make healthy decisions to reduce your stress and worry levels."
If you or someone you know feels rising anxiety, Bond offers these tips to help cope:
- Limit news intake. Refrain from constantly checking the news for updates, which can serve to feed anxiety.
- Get updates from trusted health care advisors. While the news media may be sensationalizing this issue, Blue Shield’s team of professionals is responsible to know the facts and provide legitimate information and appropriate safety precautions. Click here to read our senior medical director’s Q&A about the coronavirus.
- Practice self-care to help manage your worries. Be sure to get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise regularly. Engage in activities that redirect your thoughts, such as a favorite hobby, reading, or listening to music.
Get in touch with your doctor or healthcare provider if anxiety becomes persistent and inhibits your day-to-day activities – such as functioning at work or engaging with others. Remember there is an abundance of support.
You can also get help from the national Crisis Text Line, available 24 hours a day, by texting “home” to 741741.
Eligible Blue Shield members can reach out for advice, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through our Teladoc service.