COLUMBUS, Ohio –
These are strange times we find ourselves in. As the world grapples with coronavirus, it’s an especially stressful time for all and many of us are asking questions about what’s next.
I’ve had several people ask me, “Is it time to panic?” My answer is “NO!!” Panic involves action driven by emotion (primarily fear) and that is never a good thing. It is critically important that we stay calm and evaluate what actions are the best in this emotional time.
When things are extremely stressful, we, as humans, have a tendency to turn legitimate concern into illegitimate worry. It’s important to understand the difference. We ought to be concerned because this virus is real – a real pandemic that is affecting people over a large part of the world. We ought to be concerned about social distancing; we ought to be concerned about our friends and loved ones; where we go, what we touch, washing our hands – responsible concern.
Worry, on the other hand, is when the situation is controlling you and you have lost all control over the situation and how you respond to the situation. Worry is concern gone haywire! It tells you that you can’t sleep – that your heart should pound – that you should sweat. Don’t go there! Ask yourself “What can I do to regain control? How can I reach out to my friends and my family?”
Think about those questions. Remember what worked for you in past challenging times. Write some ideas down. If you struggle with finding answers, don’t be afraid to ask someone for help. Ask friends or family. Ask a pastor or priest. Ask your Employee Assistance Program representative. But remember not to panic.
Your EAP is available at 614-692-2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Writer’s Note: Part of this blog was inspired by an excellent message from Pastor Tony Evans.)