By Dr. Kenneth Manges, Forensic Psychologist
A recent article in Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking by Dr. Brenda Wiederhold (Vol 13, No.4 2020), suggests we are victims of infodemic. A term coined by The World Health Organization (WHO), for an abundance of information, not always accurate, that causes consternation, frustration, and conspiracy thinking and makes it hard to figure out truth from fiction.
For those amongst us who are already on edge, it doesn’t help to have a pandemic at your front door, making already frayed nerves, that much worse.
Luckily the article gives some tips for controlling what seem to be the uncontrollable:
- Tip # 1. Eat healthy foods. Junk foods cause an increase in sugar and salt without the benefit of satisfying our body’s needs.
- Tip# 2. Stay active. Sedentary couch behavior results in weight gain and a sense of lethargy.
- Tip # 3. Set up a sleep-wake routine and stick to it. Enough sleep is essential for resetting your brain and getting the necessary balance of neurotransmitters (those naturally occurring chemicals) that allow for you being alert and in a good humor.
- Tip # 4. Connect with others. Social distancing is the wrong term, it should be physical distancing. Don’t socially distance from others, connect with them but use physical distancing guidelines to protect you and them. Social connections are good for you.
- Tip# 5. You can’t avoid being anxious, but you can control the anxiety by checking in with yourself when you feel it coming on. What’s the source? If its the media… put a limit on it. If its the food you’re eating… put it in balance. If its your daily grind… use meditation and relaxation to gear down the stressors.
- Tip# 6. Find reliable sources of information. In Ohio we have our state site; https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home. Nationally we have the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirusus/2019-ncov/index.html.
Think you or a family member has contracted the virus? Call your physician.
Be well, be safe, wash your hands and cover your face.