This is probably the hardest on the list for me. I work at a health media company, so being informed about COVID-19 on some level is literally part of my job.
However, keeping “up to date” quickly became a compulsion for me — at one point, I was checking the global database of confirmed cases dozens of times per day… which was clearly not serving me or my anxious brain.
I know logically that I don’t need to be checking the news or monitoring for symptoms as often as my OCD makes me feel compelled to (or anywhere close to it). But as with anything compulsive, it can be hard to refrain.
That’s why I try to set strict boundaries around when and how often I engage with those conversations or behaviors.
Rather than obsessively checking my temperature or the latest news, I’ve shifted my focus on staying connected to the people that I love. Could I record a video message for a loved one instead? Maybe I could set up a virtual Netflix party with a bestie to keep my mind occupied.
I also let my loved ones know when I’m struggling with the news cycle, and I commit to letting them “take the reigns.”
I trust that if there’s new information I need to know, there are people that will reach out and tell me.
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