March 20, 2020 - 12:45pm
With measures being taken around New York State and the world to stop the spread of Novel Coronavirus, the New York State Office of Victim Services (OVS) understands that this is a time of increased stress and worry for you, your colleagues, and your families.
To help all of us recognize and address our stress, OVS has shared the New York State Office of Mental Health tips for Managing Anxiety in an Anxiety-Provoking Situation online. Highlighted below are a few of these tips:
- Reduce Anxiety by Reducing Risk - Ways to reduce risk include practicing good hygiene (e.g. sneezing and coughing into your elbow, sneezing into a tissue and immediately throwing the tissue away, wash hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, etc.). In addition, create a plan in case your regular routine is disrupted, such as setting up remote work and alternative childcare arrangements. Setting out a plan can help reduce anxiety by taking charge of the things you can control.
- Manage Your Information Flow – Getting regular, factual information is important. However, continuously scrolling through social media or constantly refreshing the news is likely to lead to increased anxiety. Pick a few trusted news outlets – such as the state and local health authorities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or World Health Organization – and commit to checking once or twice a day for updates.
- Practice Good Self-Care – This includes exercise, eating healthy foods, and sleeping an adequate amount at night. If possible, spend some time outside. Avoid staying up late to monitor the news.
- Find Meaningful Tasks and Roles – Find meaningful tasks and roles within your support network to channel your anxiety, such as coordinating deliveries of groceries to those unable to leave home, curating kids’ activity ideas for parents working from home, or video calling or calling those who might feel socially isolated. Supporting others is beneficial to the supporter as well.
- Savor Small Positive Moments and Amplify Positive Stories – Try to cultivate a mental wellness practice, such as writing in a gratitude journal, or talking nightly with your family about moments during the day that were fun or enjoyable.
On behalf of the New York State Office of Victim Services, we thank you for your commitment to providing the highest quality services to innocent victims of crime in New York State. Stay well!