I would like to share a few of my thoughts with you about pandemic anxiety. My book was published just prior to the onset of Covid-19, and it does not specifically address pandemic issues.
As you will discover in my book, anxiety is a response to danger or perceived danger. As such, it is perfectly reasonable to feel a sense of anxiety about the pandemic. Your anxiety may centre around the virus itself and possible exposure. Or your anxiety may impact you around the issues of job security, food security, or having a home. You may also experience anxiety about being confined to your home, separate from your family, because you need to isolate. Our homes are not always safe or comforting, and this can be a real challenge. If this is the case, I urge you reach out for help.
If your loved one has become ill, or you have lost a loved one, I want to express my sincere sympathy. Along with grief, we often feel anxiety about our loss. This, too, is normal. You may experience anger, another response to loss, when you hear the words, “We’re all in this together” and you are feeling very alone. Perhaps one of the biggest aspects of this pandemic is our state of uncertainly. If you experience anxiety, uncertainty may feel intolerable to you. In my book, you will discover strategies to help you cope with the uncertain nature of this time.
The good news is that our anxiety is helping to keep us safe. We wear masks, we keep our distance from other people, and we’ve gotten really good at keeping our hands and homes clean. In this sense, our anxiety about becoming sick is helping us to stay well by using strategies that lessen the likelihood of exposure to the virus.
Although it is perfectly reasonable to experience anxiety that is pandemic-related, the trick is to be able to handle or manage that anxiety so that it does not become debilitating. I have certainly experienced my own pandemic anxiety, and I’m happy to tell you that the strategies you will learn in this book will enable you to manage your anxiety and keep it at a much lower, more reasonable level. I know this because I have used the strategies on myself during the pandemic, and they work.
I wish you all the best as we move through this together. The reality is – we are together in our occasional sense of being alone. I am certain that things will one day normalize, even though they may be different. This pandemic has given me the gift of looking at what is most important to me, and has once again shown me how important my loved ones are to me. I hope that you, too, are able to find a gift along the way.
*Thank you to my grandson Leon, age 8, for the graphic. He created this for his mom, who was isolating in the basement for 12 days. The words he said to his mom were, "To encourage your body to fight back. I love you”