With the world slowly starting to return to some sense of normality, you may find yourself with an increasing number of patients suffering from post-pandemic anxiety. From concerns over the instability of work to fears over the vaccine and worries about long-term well-being, there are a number of factors that may be contributing to feelings of anxiety in your patients.
Although it is completely natural for people to feel anxious about the future, if this anxiety becomes overwhelming or someone is also showing signs of depression, stress and/or low mood, they will require ongoing help and support to navigate the next few months or longer.
Explain that anxiety is normal
A good place to start if someone is expressing feelings of anxiety post-pandemic is to explain to them that this is perfectly understandable. There has been a deadly virus circling the world for the last 12 months, and therefore, it is normal to feel afraid.
Furthermore, people’s routines have been completely turned upside which can be challenging enough for someone with good mental health but entirely unmanageable for someone who struggles with their overall mental well-being.
It can also be a good idea to talk to your patients about what they are doing right when it comes to safeguarding their health post-pandemic as this may be able to help calm their anxiety when a stressful situation arises, for example, wearing their face mask in public, washing their hands regularly and other key health and safety practices relating to COVID-19.
Determine their triggers
By identifying behaviors that cause anxiety, a person will be much better equipped to avoid these situations or find ways to overcome their worries surrounding them. For example, if your patient displays fears when it comes to touching other people, they might avoid leaving their home for fear of catching germs. Help them to overcome this by explaining how they can reduce their risk of spreading or catching the virus and by talking to them about the vaccine and how this is working to lower the number of positive COVID cases.
Alternatively, if your patient has an overwhelming sense of fear about visiting a hospital setting or taking their pet to an animal hospital, you can help to alleviate their concerns with facts about infection rates in clinical settings and by detailing measures that these facilities put in place to minimize risk. Helping them find access to the right facilities could also be key. If they are worried about the health of their animals and visiting during busy periods, for example, you can help them find a vet hospital that is available 24/7, such as Colonialblvdanimalhospital.com, so that they can head in when it is a much quieter time.
Don’t forget to also explain to your patients the importance of being patient when it comes to overcoming anxiety post-pandemic. A lot has changed in the last year, and it may take some people longer than others to adapt.
Identify coping methods
Although this will be specific to each person, there are ways that you can help your patients to cope with the uncertainty of the future and any feelings of anxiety that they have surrounding this.
One highly effective technique is to focus on the constant elements of their life that transcend any uncertainty. This may be a partner, a pet, or even their home environment. By turning their attention towards the good things in their life and talking to people they feel they can trust, you should find that their anxiety improves.