Fear of the Unknown
Fear of the unknown. Nowadays, we all know the feeling. Managing uncertainty is no easy task.
I wanted to check in with all of our clients, and soon-to-be clients about what we are doing here at Couples Therapy Inc. to support you during these anxious and unprecedented times.
Spouses with anxiety or depression may be particularly vulnerable to fear of uncertainty.
This is a time when our overall anxiety is high. Be gentle with each other.
It’s important for all of us to be clear about the risks in our communities by staying informed with updates from trustworthy sources, like the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Everyone is talking about Coronavirus (COVID-19) right now and for a good reason.
Coronavirus is now a global pandemic, and although 80% of cases are relatively mild and most people under 50 have a meager mortality rate (0.2%), the mortality rate starts to rise for those over 50 and is very dangerous for patients over the age of 80.
It makes sense to be concerned about Coronavirus. We need to pay attention and take appropriate precautions. But we also need to effectively cope with the fear and anxiety that communities, families, and spouses, will endure as well.
“I want to lay my head down on you. Because you’re the only solid thing in this room.” Indigo Girls
8 Ways to Manage Fear of the Unknown and Manage Uncertainty
- Information is Not Control. There is no shortage of information about Coronavirus, but much of it is second and third-hand garbage clickbait. Stick with the WHO and CDC. Ignore social media and news aggregation sites. They only care about capturing your eyeballs.
- Establish a Routine. Check the CDC and WHO once a day. Quality news venues are few and far between. Ignore sensationalism.
- Follow Guidelines, But Don’t Overdue it. Settle down. Follow the guidelines. There are things you can control and things you can not. Focus on your locus of control. Let go of the rest.
- Model Calm, Clear Thinking for Your Kids. For example, if you read the guidelines from the CDC, if you’re healthy, wearing a mask will not protect you. And yet you’ll see people around you wearing them. Assume they are sick and keep a social distance of at least 15 feet. But most likely, they are not processing information correctly, and that’s what you can tell your kids. The CDC says wearing a mask may result in you touching your face more often to adjust it, and that is a known risk. Point out sloppy thinking to your kids with kindness and forbearance.
- Remember That the Odds are Significantly in Your Favor. Even if you or a loved one contract the Coronavirus, it’s highly probable that you will recover. Know your risk factors, but don’t fret about your fear of the unknown.
- Practice Deep Breathing. And Notice Your Thoughts. You may not be able to control your anxious thoughts completely, but you can handle them with skill. Talk with your kids about “the anxiety” as another real virus that is being transmitted between people. Avoid a herd mentality: model calm, independent thinking.
- Talk about Your Feelings and Encourage Your Family Members to do Likewise. Self-care is essential. And that means taking care of your family’s emotional life as well. You can’t control what other people say or do, but you can be a voice of calm in your community. Share your feelings with your partner and ask them also to tell you how they are doing. Going through tough times together can build your intimacy and resilience.
- Get Help Online When You Need it. Cabin fever can lead to short tempers, bickering, and cold shoulders. Marital stress degrades the immune system and makes it more difficult to fight off respiratory infections. If your marriage needs help managing the uncertainty, please reach out to us.
Managing Uncertainty… and Love in the Time of Coronavirus
We understand that these are troubled times. It’s human to have a fear of the unknown, and managing uncertainty isn’t easy.
All of us here at Couples Therapy Inc. are committed to supporting your desire for science-based online couples therapy assessments, online couples therapy, Discernment Counseling, and Hopeful Spouse Coaching. But we are no longer doing face-to-face intensive couples therapy, until the ongoing threats of this pandemic pass.
Unlike many couples therapists, we don’t have to suddenly shift from working face-to-face with couples to working online.
For the past 7 years, Couples Therapy inc. has been a pioneer in online couples therapy and converting to intensive online work will be a minor transition as we perfect that particular format.
Couples Therapy Inc. uses the most reliable and robust online telehealth platform; the HIPPA compliant version of Zoom.
Best Practices For Our Clients
For our marriage retreat clients, we’d like to discuss why we’ve taken this precautionary step:
The choices you make today matter. Each person you come in contact with is likely to have come in contact with many other people. No one is immune. Our staff will work with you to reschedule your couples therapy intensive or discuss the possibility of conducting the intensive with you both online.
Unlike most couples therapists, we’ve actually field-tested couples therapy intensives online in anticipation of situations just like this!
The staff and couples therapists at CTI are here for you. If you’re overwhelmed by fear of the unknown, reach out to us.
We will all get through this together.