ORLANDO, Fla. – If you’re feeling the anxiety and stress over the coronavirus, you are not alone.
Doctors are seeing more people with concerns and fears over what may be in store for them with their health and changes in their work.
“It’s okay to feel stressed, to feel anxious, to feel worried,” said Dr. Romie Mushtaq, M.D. “Name that emotion.”
Dr. Mushtaq is a neurologist and Chief Wellness Officer for Evolution Hospitality.
She said she sees a lot of people reacting to constant updates on the coronavirus.
“That just feeds into our stress hormone levels in our brain rising. That leads to negative emotions, feeling anxious,” she said. “You can’t sleep, you’re feeling depressed, you’re feeling panic.”
She said there are three steps to feeling better.
First, name the emotion being felt.
Second, find calm, and then, do something to take control of.
“Don’t most of us feel out of control in the situation? So what are examples of things you can do to be in control? I’m going to de-clutter and clean my desk. I am going to get up and exercise tomorrow morning,” she said.
Dr. Mushtaq said all of these tips are important because she said negative information is three times more likely to stay with us than positive information, and it also spreads to other people.
“So, if I look at the news online, and I start to panic, you can smile and grit your teeth, and tell everyone you’re fine, but you’re not,” she said. “Then, all of a sudden your family members and the people you work around are going to start to feel the same panic.”
She said the biggest antidote to panic and anxiety is a good night’s sleep.
She said insomnia not only makes people mentally depressed, but it also makes the immune system depressed.