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Keep Catastrophic Thinking at Bay

Let’s face it, COVID-19 has changed our lives and we are all a little stressed and most likely experiencing varying degrees of anxiety.  And now, we have been asked to shelter in place for another 30 days by President.  What does that look like?  

Teleworking in often now busy households, monitoring video classroom activities for our children, isolating from family and friends that may be in hospitals or health care facilities, limiting our travel outside of the house to one shopper at grocery store, and much more.  Listening to daily newscasts and updates, it is really difficult to remain positive and find the light at the end of the tunnel. 

For some, we have been asked to give even more than following the Governor’s “Stay at Home” Executive Order.   Whether you have been classified as essential personnel and serving on the front lines of preventing and combating the spread of this pandemic in your civilian or military service or you are standing by ready to accept the call to serve, you and your family are apprehensive, strained, and maybe stressed out.  Now, more than ever, to remain of greatest service to yourself, your family, your community, implementing mental health and emotion regulations exercises into you daily life is critical to well-being and resiliency. 

When we are stressed, our anxiety, fueled by catastrophic thinking, ramps up.  Keep your catastrophic thinking at bay with positive thoughts, joy, and laughter.  When those negative emotions start to take over, take a step back and take a positive break.  Turn the music up and dance, exercise, hug your pets, laugh out loud, or watch a funny video.  According to Human Performance Resources by CHAMP (HPRC),  use these three strategies to overcome catastrophic thinking: write down negative thoughts–you will be able took at them more objectively; schedule positive mental breaks into your day; and finally, work on techniques to learn how to control your breathing.

 Just remember, you are not alone.  The Service Member Support Division is standing by and ready to assist you and your family.  We are available at 1-800-292-9464 option 1 or by email at ng.wi.wiarng.mbx.j1-smsd@mail.mil