Covid-19/Coronavirus fear is spreading at an unprecedented pace—even faster than the virus itself in most cases. Schools are closed. Events postponed. Grocery stores in chaos. People are afraid and uncertain, worried that they’ll wake up tomorrow to even worse news. The social climate within the U.S. and across the world is one of trepidation.
Fear of the Coronavirus/Covid-19 is real
People are scared of the Coronavirus not only because of its threat to our health, but because of the uncertainty it’s causing in other parts of our lives. It’s unsafe to visit with our friends and family. We can’t go to work to earn a living. It’s easy to be afraid in these uncertain times—especially when such major aspects of our lives hang in the balance.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Yes, there is uncertainty. Yes, things are unpredictable. Yes, there are reasons for concern and to have coronavirus fear. But that doesn’t mean you’re powerless. In fact, this pandemic offers a chance for people to become empowered to gain strength and determination, and persevere in hard times.
Now’s the time to rise above fear. Just because it’s all around us doesn’t mean we have to succumb to it. Instead, find reasons to be stronger than fear. Be strong for your kids. Be strong for your family. Be strong for the people in your life who face dire consequences.
Panic and fear won’t help the people you care about, and it won’t help you.
Now, more than ever, you need to find the strength within yourself to be a pinnacle of stability at a time when everything feels uncertain.
You are love and need to share love now more than ever!
How to talk with your kids about Covid-19/Coronavirus fear
Kids need the most guidance in these chaotic times. They may not understand the magnitude of a global pandemic like COVID-19, but they know something is wrong and they do sense fear. They’ve been pulled out of school and separated from their friends.
They feel the tension, panic and fear in the air. They know people are sick. It’s up to parents to step in and help kids understand the situation, and to quell any fear they might have about a situation they can’t comprehend.
Kids aren’t worried about a 401k or venue closures. They are afraid and want to know that their mom and dad are going to be okay, that they’re going to see their friends again, and that the world they know isn’t changing.
Reassure them that everything is going to be okay; but at the same time, be authentic with them. Explain what’s going on in a way they can understand, and project confidence that calms them.
- For young kids, keep it simple. Let them know people are sick and that the best way to keep others from getting sick is to stay home.
- For adolescent children, stick to the facts and be transparent. Talk to them about the severity of the situation and concepts like social distancing.
- For pre-teens and teens, be upfront. Use logic and reason to show them why self-quarantine is important and what it means to flatten the curve.
Remember to listen. Your kids have questions, fears and concerns you likely didn’t think of. They want to know when they can see their friends and when they can eat at their favorite restaurant again.
Be patient. Kids will mirror your confidence and calmness, and they’ll feel better if you feel better.
Be a rock for your friends and family (from a distance)
Social distancing has us all keeping a safe distance from our friends and family. But social distancing doesn’t mean isolation. Making it through the Coronavirus depends on maintaining human contact and social relationships.
We just need to be smart and safe about how we do it.
Thankfully, technology connects us in ways that don’t necessitate physical contact. We can video chat with family to see their smiling faces. We can text GIFs and emojis to have a laugh with friends, even when we can’t see them. You can even hop online to play video games with a total stranger and spend a few hours escaping with them.
You don’t have to stand next to someone to let them know you’re there for them.
If you feel yourself in the grip of Coronavirus fear, with rising anxiety caused by the news, the stock market, and general uncertainty, reach out to someone.
Hearing their voice or seeing their face through a screen will make both of you feel better. It’s comforting to know that you’re not alone, and you should make it a point to let the people in your life know you’re there for them.
Find reasons to share happy news with people, or take a moment to deliver a thoughtful message. Birthday wishes, “I love you” messages and small, reassuring reminders go a long way in preserving optimism.
Why are people afraid of the Coronavirus?
Master your personal outlook, to keep fear in-check. Why are you afraid of it? Probing your fear helps you understand it, and understanding it gives you power over it. Master the understanding of why you’re afraid and you’ll quickly realize how to overcome that fear.
Fear affects us all differently. Some people feel it manifest in anxiety and panic. Others withdraw and become depressed. Many become irrational as the ‘fight or flight’ instinct kicks in.
However you’re affected, you need to recognize fear for what it is and have the forethought to step back from it. Try not to embrace Coronavirus fear, but instead try to seize it and control it.
- Look at fear logically, instead of emotionally. It’s okay to be afraid, so long as you understand the logical limits of that fear and don’t let your emotions overwhelm you.
- Turn away negative thoughts by looking for their positives. Remember that every dark cloud has a silver lining!
- Counteract fear with positive things. Do things that make you feel happy or accomplished and let Serotonin be your balance between fear and confidence.
- Breathe deep and practice calming exercises. Taking a moment to distance yourself from fear will help put it in perspective. Even spiritual quotes and introspection can help calm fear.
Remember, fear is the feeling that there MAY be danger—not that there IS danger. In the case of COVID-19 fear, it tells us to be smart and safe. When we take cues from our fear instead of giving into it, we make smart decisions that keep us, our families and our communities safe.
Find stability in the uncertainty
No one knows how the future is going to play out. Even with the spread of Coronavirus and social distancing, the future is still as uncertain today as it was yesterday, or last week, or last year.
Worrying about the unknown will cause anyone to fear it. Instead, look at the present.
What can you do today that will help shape a better tomorrow?
Look at all the factors in your life you can control and focus your attention on them in these uncertain times. Be the calming presence your kids need. Be the supportive rock your family turns to. Be the friend who keeps everyone in good spirits.
Most importantly, be confident and proud of yourself, in your ability to overcome your Covid-19/Coronavirus fears and set the example. Remember that words do have power and even reading quotes for hard times can help to persevere during these hard times.
The world needs people like you more than ever, and you’re doing more good than you know by staying calm and acting smart.
How are you helping your family get through their Coronavirus fears? Please share your tips with us in the comments below!