The coronavirus outbreak has radically changed our sense of security and daily routines. Everyone will experience this trauma uniquely, based on their past experiences and current situations. Even though we are each different, there are predictable emotional phases humans experience in response to crisis. We can use our understanding of these emotional phases to build resilience and give ourselves, and others, grace.
The following information on the emotional phases you may experience during this pandemic is based on research by the NeuroLeadership Institute. Following the review of emotional phases, you will find an overview of additional resources. Remember, what you are feeling right now is normal. Be gentle with yourself and nurture your emotional health as we move through this together.
Phase one: Shock
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Phase two: Pain
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|Phase three: New normal|
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If you find yourself in a spiral, one quick way to help lower anxiety is by doing a grounding exercise. Here are some examples of grounding exercises:
- Place a cold cloth to your forehead or hold something cool in your hands.
- Become mindful of your breath by inhaling while counting to four and exhaling while counting to four.
- Connect with the senses by naming five things you see, four things you feel, three things you hear, two things that you smell (or like to smell), one thing you taste (or like to taste), and one good thing about today.
Therapy via telehealth
If you meet with a therapist, let them know your concerns about coronavirus. Regence and Kaiser therapists and other healthcare providers can be accessed from the comfort and safety of your home, via telehealth. If you don’t have a therapist and would like one, contact your insurance provider or Making Life Easier.
Making Life Easier and Employee Assistance Program
Making Life Easier (MLE) provides many services, including free counseling and referrals, credit and legal consultations, mortgage assistance, and childcare resources and referrals. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides free counseling to help King County employees navigate workplace stress. Click here for more information.
Mental Health Resource Guide
View this guide for additional King County and community-based mental health support resources.
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