One Way to Help You Better Manage the Fear and Anxiety of the Coronavirus Pandemic

I look forward to every Friday because the “Friday Funnies” arrive in my inbox. This week’s edition included a very thoughtful piece about the world’s current situation by Patricia Cameron-Hill. I believe it is relevant to all adults and her thoughts are quoted below.

Messages for ‘olders’ to better manage the current crisis.

We ‘Olders’ are considered to be the most vulnerable to Coronavirus. This puts us in a unique position to be a good example to young people who may be anxious about themselves and us. We have a chance to help them cultivate positive attitudes, positive emotions and helpful behaviours.

None of us want to die, but we know that our lives are given to us with no guarantee of physical safety and we have to accept that. This reality can be easier to accept with the experience and wisdom that comes with age.

The Impact of Anxiety and Fear

It may be helpful to understand that the real problem we have to manage during this crisis is fear. Fear comes with anxiety, and if we can manage that, then we can make better decisions and take steps to not only survive Coronavirus, but to learn and grow from the experience.

Some people may not recognise their own anxiety and behave irrationally (panic buying) or destructively without realising that anxiety is driving their behaviour. Those who are aware can be at a loss to know what to do about it.

There is something we can do…

Francis Macnab (psychotherapist & former minister of St Michael’s) uses a helpful analogy. He says that being anxious is, “Like dogs running loose in the backyard, running in all directions and out of control”. When faced with anxiety we must “Tie up the dogs and stay steady.”

It’s not always easy to do this, but it is a helpful image to keep in mind as we look for ways to stay steady: For example, using the breath to relax, accessing calming influences, limiting our exposure to bad news, enjoying music, dancing and walking.

Inner Strength and Resilience

We can have faith in ourselves to draw on our inner strengths. We have lived long enough to know about chaos and unwanted events and for the most part, our ability to get past them. It is the meaning we choose to give to a crisis situation that will determine our feelings and our response. We know we cannot always control what happens, but we can control the way we see things. This is achieved by using the power of our mind to override the biological reaction of fear, panic and anxiety.

This edition of the Friday Funnies can remind us of the importance of a sense of humour and laughter. Laughter helps us to put aside a threatening future and live in the present. When we live in the present we may be aware of our stressful circumstances, but we also know our capacity as human beings to handle them.

We are equal to the challenge of this crisis. We have what it takes to stay steady, keep our dignity and be confident – to be our best selves.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

I have been enjoying the Friday Funnies for many years since meeting Patricia and Shayne at a National speakers Association of Australia meeting where they presented on stress and humour.

You Too Can Enjoy the Friday Funnies. Here is a link where current subscribers can refer a friend:

YouTube is another great source of comedy as well as inspiring talks. My favourite comedian is Michael McIntyre.

What This Means To You

The level of anxiety and fear am seeing in the streets as well as in the clinic is palpable. Your immune system will thank you for adding some balance and hence strength with an added dose of humour.

Telehealth Has Arrived

Telehealth is a new way for medical consultations. This is to minimise the risk to our staff, other patients and yourself. Consultations in the clinic are still available when clinically appropriate.

Stay Healthy,

Dr Pete