Life Free of Anxiety, with Erica & Dr. Charles Barr

Coronavirus/COVID-19: Avoiding and Managing Anxiety During a Pandemic [Life Free of Anxiety #17]

March 14, 2020 Erica Roth & Dr. Charles Barr Episode 17
Life Free of Anxiety, with Erica & Dr. Charles Barr
Coronavirus/COVID-19: Avoiding and Managing Anxiety During a Pandemic [Life Free of Anxiety #17]
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Life Free of Anxiety, with Erica & Dr. Charles Barr
Coronavirus/COVID-19: Avoiding and Managing Anxiety During a Pandemic [Life Free of Anxiety #17]
Mar 14, 2020 Episode 17
Erica Roth & Dr. Charles Barr

A lot seemed to happen this week... Dr. Charles Barr and I had recorded a series on relaxation that we were going to publish this week, but the world seemed to turn a bit upside down over the past few days, so we're pushing it to next week, so that we could talk about the current pandemic.

I asked Kyle to come back on to talk about this topic with Dr. Barr because he's had to deal with the impact of it in his own work life.

Among the key topics suggested in this episode are:

  • Having a plan in place and trusting in it
  • Limiting media (and social media) news exposure
  • Possibility vs Probability thinking
  • Avoiding imagined realities
  • And how to discuss coronavirus with your children WITHOUT causing a panic

Don't worry, we will be back early next week to begin that two part series on relaxation and how to get the maximum benefit out of it! So make sure to get a copy of Dr. Barr's relaxation audio!

---
Enjoying the Life Free of Anxiety Podcast? Can you take 10 seconds to leave a rating (or better yet, a short review!) on Apple Podcasts? It REALLY helps new people find the show.

Simply click this link and scroll down, then hit 1 to 5 stars--it's really that easy!

(And don't forget to subscribe if you haven't already!)

Thank you in advance! Your kind reviews mean so much to us!

While you're at it, we hope you will share the show with someone who could benefit from it (or in your favorite anxiety Facebook group, hint hint!) and of course, join in the conversation on Facebook and Instagram!
---
Resources are mentioned in today's episode:

---
Please know: We are here for you. We read and respond to every message we receive on Facebook and Instagram, or email me at: erica@lifefreeofanxiety.com

Don't forget to download your TOTALLY FREE Relaxation Audio MP3 at
lifefreeofanxiety.com/RELAX

As always, remember that...

You are NOT alone.
You are NOT broken.
You are on your way to a life FREE of anxiety!

<3

Have a question? Want to share how your anxiety journey is going? Need some encouragement or support? Come say hello at:

Facebook, Instagram or Email at: erica@lifefreeofanxiety.com

And don't forget, you can subscribe and find all episodes at http://podcast.lifefreeofanxiety.com

Show Notes Transcript

A lot seemed to happen this week... Dr. Charles Barr and I had recorded a series on relaxation that we were going to publish this week, but the world seemed to turn a bit upside down over the past few days, so we're pushing it to next week, so that we could talk about the current pandemic.

I asked Kyle to come back on to talk about this topic with Dr. Barr because he's had to deal with the impact of it in his own work life.

Among the key topics suggested in this episode are:

  • Having a plan in place and trusting in it
  • Limiting media (and social media) news exposure
  • Possibility vs Probability thinking
  • Avoiding imagined realities
  • And how to discuss coronavirus with your children WITHOUT causing a panic

Don't worry, we will be back early next week to begin that two part series on relaxation and how to get the maximum benefit out of it! So make sure to get a copy of Dr. Barr's relaxation audio!

---
Enjoying the Life Free of Anxiety Podcast? Can you take 10 seconds to leave a rating (or better yet, a short review!) on Apple Podcasts? It REALLY helps new people find the show.

Simply click this link and scroll down, then hit 1 to 5 stars--it's really that easy!

(And don't forget to subscribe if you haven't already!)

Thank you in advance! Your kind reviews mean so much to us!

While you're at it, we hope you will share the show with someone who could benefit from it (or in your favorite anxiety Facebook group, hint hint!) and of course, join in the conversation on Facebook and Instagram!
---
Resources are mentioned in today's episode:

---
Please know: We are here for you. We read and respond to every message we receive on Facebook and Instagram, or email me at: erica@lifefreeofanxiety.com

Don't forget to download your TOTALLY FREE Relaxation Audio MP3 at
lifefreeofanxiety.com/RELAX

As always, remember that...

You are NOT alone.
You are NOT broken.
You are on your way to a life FREE of anxiety!

<3

Have a question? Want to share how your anxiety journey is going? Need some encouragement or support? Come say hello at:

Facebook, Instagram or Email at: erica@lifefreeofanxiety.com

And don't forget, you can subscribe and find all episodes at http://podcast.lifefreeofanxiety.com

spk_1:   0:00
Well, hello and welcome to another episode of the life free of anxiety Podcast. I'm Kyle. You've heard me before on a previous episodes, and I'm stepping in right now to talk about an important topic. Anxiety related to Corona virus. Erica wanted me to come in and talk because in her life she's a voice actor. So she works in a small little booth by ourself where she can't get infected. And I actually work at, ah, NASA Center Jet Propulsion Laboratory. And we're in the midst of, Ah, a lot of strange times with being told to work from home, getting e mails that, you know a person may have it and they're waiting for test results. So that's why I'm here. Just kind of talk about some of this, and I am joined by Dr Bar. Of course, this isn't going to be just me rambling for this whole time.

spk_0:   0:50
Hello, everyone

spk_1:   0:51
see it's him. He's here, So let's jump into it right after this way. Welcome to the life free of Anxiety podcast, where each week we'll bring you another discussion to help you on your way to overcoming your fears. America and together with Dr Charles Bar, a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in anxiety will be your guides on this journey because you are not broken. You are not alone. And you're on your way to living a life free of anxiety. Well, Dr Bar, I don't get to talk to you nearly as much as Erica does. So this is kind of ah, little bit of a treat.

spk_0:   1:32
Well, it's a treat for me to,

spk_1:   1:34
uh

spk_0:   1:34
it's fun. Toe. Have you on the other end here?

spk_1:   1:37
Yeah, we'll have a talking about. We'll have a little guy time.

spk_0:   1:40
That's right. Little bonding, little

spk_1:   1:42
man pounding. Yeah, well, we I mean, we're probably gonna be talking about sports. Ah, right off the top.

spk_0:   1:49
Well, actually, I'd prefer to bond in some other way. Was talking about Corona virus,

spk_1:   1:54
but that's true.

spk_0:   1:56
I guess that's what left with for today. You know, you were talking about having to telecommute and, um, that you're getting messages that people may have gotten the virus that I've had. Ah, several clients who are also telecommuting. And, uh, I had my first client yesterday who called and cancelled, saying, um, that she had received word that someone at her building actually had the virus that they had tested positive?

spk_1:   2:25
Oh, no.

spk_0:   2:26
They had evac for building. And so that's the kind of stuff that that is really pretty scary. And, um so I think that that's why I thought it was a good idea for us to do a broadcast on this. Because it is scary times, isn't it?

spk_1:   2:42
Yeah, It and Erica had been talking about doing this episode, and I know that you wanted to prepare some research and read some of the literature surrounding Corona virus and the anxiety side of things from some of your colleagues. But it seems like we had we had a couple other episodes plan and record. They'll come out next week. But it seems like this became a much more urgent thing this week. It's necessitated bumping this up. What do you think changed all of a sudden?

spk_0:   3:11
Well, I think we have seen the unpredictability of the cove, it 19 virus. It seems to be just popping up everywhere, you know, for a while they could trace How did it get from this person to that person? And how did it get to this community? And now it's popping up where people have not traveled outside the country. They haven't had any contact with people who have traveled outside or come from places where the virus is known to be. And so it's just kind of exploding right now. Which is the phase that China was in a couple of months ago, where it's traveling all on its own now. And so you know it to hear that this is a pandemic even is scary. I mean, pandemic means a worldwide infection ends like Oh, my gosh, that's very scary. Uh, well, actually, it

spk_1:   4:07
it is. And we're recording this on ah, Friday, the 13th of March. And that was yesterday's news that came out that it has been declared not an epidemic, but ah, a pandemic. Um, Now and I I feel like this week was ah, a lot happened and I've noticed just from a trip to the grocery store Ah, that took me 30 minutes to check out because everybody was stocking up on things. But with the cancellations of suspending the MBA and the NHL seasons even with baseball getting pushback March Madness, you've got everything from NASCAR to Broadway shows being shut down. It seems like all of a sudden, this became or riel and people are starting to see how it's impacting day to day life for them in their neighbors.

spk_0:   4:59
Well, and it's impacting them also because a lot of the schools now are closed. And so let me Children are home. They don't have childcare during the day. And so people can't go toe work because they have to stay home and take care of their Children. So it really is impacting our lifestyle the way we're used to running it. And we're having to make adjustments. And, um, you know, for the for some of the folks, it really is a very big hardship, you know, because it's like, Well, I don't know if I'm going to get paid. I don't know if I'm gonna get sick leave. Um, you know, that kind of thing.

spk_1:   5:39
Well, you're a big fan of certainty. I imagine uncertainty even about what's gonna happen, legislation wise, that probably feeds into the narrative a little bit about there's danger.

spk_0:   5:55
Well, that's right. You know, we are in uncharted territory. Actually, I think historically, the last time the United States had this kind of a response was probably in 1918 with the big flu epidemic, then And, um then flu has been around ever since, so we're used to coping with the flu. And if if you get the flu, it's not all that big a deal, you know? Yes, you're sick, and it feels miserable, and you go to the doctor and most of us recover. And yet it kills thousands of Americans every year. Hey, so we live tile and uncertainty. Uncertainty is reality. We keep looking for certainty, but we can't really have it now. We put ourselves in a certainty bubble. If I can put it that way, if I say kind of went, why don't we have lunch together on Monday? Ah, you don't say. Well, um, yes, as long as I don't get in a car crash or don't

spk_1:   7:02
get hit by a

spk_0:   7:02
bus or, you know, that kind of thing. Uh, you just say sure when and where, and we'll plan on meeting on Monday for lunch. Um, now, in Kentucky, we used to have a saying that, you know, people would say, Well, okay, I'll see you then. Lord willing and the creek don't rise. And, um, so You know, it's kind of a country saying, but now, Okay, Lord willing. Um, yeah, and creek don't rise. What sense does that make? Well, a lot of people lived on the other side of the creek, and they

spk_1:   7:36
had a low

spk_0:   7:37
water crossing. So we gotta rain. They may not be able to get out of their house.

spk_1:   7:41
Uh, s So

spk_0:   7:42
they make the creek Rose.

spk_1:   7:45
Yeah. It must have happened often enough that it justified. Ah, saying

spk_0:   7:50
that's right. And and it kind of became habitual, you know. Okay. See you Monday, Lord Willing Creek. No rise. Um, but there's that uncertainty is like, Okay, we'll make our plans knowing that other things may happen, it might not happen.

spk_1:   8:06
And am I right in assuming that this sort of thing? This isn't necessarily an anxiety thing as much as it is ah, human thing. That Ah, because because when I'm at the grocery store and I can't find any toilet paper even though I'm not trying to hoard it, I'm just tryingto wipe my butt. Uh, Erica never would have said that, by the way, Uh, it seems like there's a certain amount of anxiety or fear even among normally not anxious people.

spk_0:   8:39
I think there is. And you can see it quite evidently, I think with all the panic buying people hoarding but paper and and water. And quite frankly, I don't I don't truly get why people are hoarding water right now. This is not a waterborne disease. And so all you have to do is turn on your faucet in your *** it and

spk_1:   9:00
you got potable water. We've been talking about that a lot. It's like, What is the plumbing going to dry up? Because you got sick?

spk_0:   9:09
Well, I talked. I was talking with a colleague, and, um, I thought she had a very good point. She was saying that her understanding of what she thought might be happening is that most of the time in crises would be either earthquakes or maybe a hurricane, occasionally now. And if you lived in Florida, then you get hurricanes a lot, and you have to stock up on water and that kind of thing because that your water supply may well be disruptive

spk_1:   9:39
and contaminated. And in that situation

spk_0:   9:42
in contaminated that's right. Um and so she feels like, uh, this is just an emergency response. Sen. And people aren't really thinking about What is this particular emergency? They've just gone into emergency mode and emergency mode is you stock up on paper towels and toilet paper and water and rice and beans and, um,

spk_1:   10:07
canned goods,

spk_0:   10:09
yet canned goods. Costco had a run on spam. Um, things like that, you know, you're just an emergency mode and you're not really thinking you're just trying to be in control of something you can't control. There's something out there that I can't control, and I don't know what to do about it. So I will do this. At least I know I have done something. So I think it's an attempt to try to feel back in control when we feel out of control, and we'll feel frightened by that Out of control, Ms. So, um, I think she had a good point on that, And, uh, I'd like to thank Dr Smith for bringing that up, because I think that's probably where that's coming from.

spk_1:   10:55
So it sounds like a lot of this all does tie back toe. You know, the uncertainty, the lack of control and ah ah, how should someone deal with that uncertainty.

spk_0:   11:08
Well, we need to remind ourselves that we all lived through uncertainty all the time and most of the time were very resilient. And we're very creative when things don't go the way we think they should go. We adapt and we change and we get creative. And it's an opportunity for growth, actually, rather than an opportunity for fear. Uh, so we need to remind ourselves that uncertainty isn't necessarily bad. It's, well, we'll respond. And so I want us to remind ourselves that we have Resource is as people that we as a people are very resilient. And, um, we spring back. And so keep reminding yourself that you have some some resource is inside you that will allow you to adapt to whatever this virus is going to bring to us. Whether it's how you work or changing how you how you're going to school, it may necessitate a change for how I work. You know, I may end up having to do all of my work over the telephone. Um, if you know people are afraid to come in, or if somebody in my building becomes infected and they closed my building, then I won't have an office that I'll be able to be in, but we'll have to adapt to those kinds of things,

spk_1:   12:40
and it seems like this resourceful and resilience. It's It's something that we all have inside of it. But it seems almost like it's at war with our overactive imaginations.

spk_0:   12:52
I think that's a great way because we do have overactive imaginations. We love to imagine what Oh, what if you know what are the possibilities? You know what's the worst that could happen Now I know a lot of people that go to okay, I need to know what the worst is that could happen and then I can back off from that. Well, the worst that could happen in this scenario is very terrible. It's horribly frightening, and I don't think the worst is goingto happen. Uh, the worst didn't happen in China, and now they haven't authoritarian government that can clamp down on things the way we can't. But we're also a very compliant people as well as a rebellious people. So we have both sides of that Innis, and when it when it's called for, we'll tow the line. Well, we'll come alongside and do what we're supposed to do and and we need to do that right now. You know, our our minds as people were Also, we also gravitate towards the negative. Um, we just kind of we have a negative bias and it operates on us all the time. And so we have to keep pulling ourselves out of that and going toward the positive and seeing seeing the positive. And while we don't want to be Pollyannish on this one, this is a This is a real crisis, and we need to take it seriously, But we don't need to panic. And so we need to do what we can do. And one of those things is to pull ourselves out of the possibility thinking and try toe mitigate that with probability thinking.

spk_1:   14:36
So what would you say? Possibility. Thinking versus probability thinking is I really like that phrase.

spk_0:   14:43
Well, just because something is possible doesn't mean that it's probable. It's possible that you can get the Corona virus and die. That's possible. But if you're a person who is in their thirties or, uh, if you're below 60 actually, your probability of dying from the Corona virus is very low. Even if you get a severe case of it, unless you have an underlying medical condition. You know, if you have heart disease or you have some kind of lung condition, you have diabetes. I think is on the list. Uh, then you're a higher risk. But if you're generally in good health, uh, and you're under 60 even if you get the virus, your probability of dying is very, very low now. The market audience, unfortunately, is my agent up. E. I hate to admit it, you know, But, um, this virus is much more detrimental to, er the 70 in a group of people. And, um so it's not to scare the older folks because your probability of dying then is still even. Look,

spk_1:   15:59
um,

spk_0:   16:00
you know, So let's let's take a how does probability work in weather? You know, you hear all the time, we have a 20% chance of rain today.

spk_1:   16:14
No, uh, it might rain.

spk_0:   16:16
Do you really deranged.

spk_1:   16:18
I'm not bringing an umbrella.

spk_0:   16:19
That's right. That's what I mean. Okay, so, you know, it's like, yeah. Okay. So we might get a Sprinkle. Or maybe we'll get

spk_1:   16:27
one

spk_0:   16:27
down for when cloud will go over. But, you know, we're not expecting it to be a generalized rain. No. So So what is the probability? You know, I don't want to scare folks, but the probability of of dying with a Corona virus, I think it has a lease ality rate of, like, 3.4% or something like that is best we know right now. And it may end up being lower higher. Well, we won't know until the epidemiologists get ahold of it after a few months, but that's a very low percentage of people. Now, if you happen to be one of those people, that's really serious.

spk_1:   17:10
But then when the probability increases, that just means that you need to take more precautions and respond. So if this reminds me, um, back in back in the day, that ah, when computers started to play chess, there is, um they were very good at it, and a lot of it had to do is on the first move. What is it? There's, ah, about 20 possible moves, and you could sit there and think through what happens for each of those 20 moves. And when my opponent does their move and they could have 20 different moves. Okay, well, you begin to think about all of these different possibilities and it branches out and at a certain amount of time, you have millions of different possibilities. Once you start thinking 234 moves ahead and all of the different things the thing is computers would sit there and they would try to calculate what would happen. And so you got computers? I would think to 34 moves ahead. But, you know, the human chess masters were still beating the computers every single time because they didn't spend time thinking about all of these different possible moves that that probably weren't gonna happen. They focused on what they knew was important. Uh, and they didn't expend all this different energy. So by spending the time to look at all possible outcomes, the computer actually more or less war itself out.

spk_0:   18:37
Yes.

spk_1:   18:38
So that I think

spk_0:   18:39
that's a great, great analogy. I think that works very well, very nicely. If you if you spend time worrying about all the possible outcomes of this, you will wear yourself out. That's exactly right. I think that's a great analogy, Kyle.

spk_1:   18:56
So thank you. So What? What do you start to do? Ah, um Ah, So I think of how to phrase this question. So when you start to think of all these different possibilities and so many of them are so negative, even if they're not probable, how do you start to process that in a productive way? So it doesn't feed into this ever increasing anxiety cycle?

spk_0:   19:23
One of the things that we need to realize as we try to stay in a more productive way is that we are currently being bombarded by news about the Corona virus. Okay, we're being bombarded by the press by social media, all of those things. I want to caution people about social media because not everything you get in social media has any kind of, um basis in fact or correctness. So I would say for people tune in once or twice a day to, ah, reliable news source. Find out what the latest is on the virus because things are moving quickly and you need to stay up to date with that. But you don't need to spend three or four hours a day hearing about the Corona virus. That's only gonna scare you because it makes it seem larger than lie.

spk_1:   20:18
It's easy to then spread that on your own. Ah, just yesterday, we've got one of those ring video doorbells. And do you have one of those? Dr Barr, so

spk_0:   20:28
I don't yet

spk_1:   20:29
way. We're gonna We're gonna have to get you one of those, but, ah, so it comes with an app on your phone where people can post. Oh, look, this suspicious person grabbed my package or they've driven by my house five times. But yesterday I got a notification and I looked at it, and it was someone claiming that they had, ah, heard from someone that there was a student at one of the local high schools who had Corona virus. And by the time I looked at this notification, there were many hundreds of comments and responses on it. And about 30 minutes later, there were actual school administrators saying, No, this is untrue. We have no idea where this came from. Hospital says that there's no confirmed cases in town, but at that point there's been hundreds of people. And guess how many people they probably shared this misinformation with?

spk_0:   21:23
That's right. That's right. Um, and that that's so dangerous. Well, I I've been frustrated. Ah, this may be also subject a bit, but I've been frustrated because I can't seem to find what are the actual symptoms of the virus that we need to be watching for? So we know what the virus ultimately does is it ultimately goes into pneumonia, and, um and that's that can be dangerous. So I've had two sets of symptoms that that I've come across. One is said to come from Stanford and one comes from CDC. So, um, I mean, it says that it seems like Stanford should know also if, in fact, it came from Stanford, I that's the thing that I don't know. And so that's part of what we have to be careful about things air sent around in social media that said, They come from this and that, um, and we're not quite sure whether they do or not. So one of the symptoms is that this virus starts with a sore throat. Now, you you can get it without a sore throat, I suppose. But it starts with a sore throat and usually a sore throat without a running nose. So if you get us for two or three days. Be suspicious of yourself. If you get a sore throat with a runny nose and sputum, you have a common cold. You don't have iris. Um, so that's that. That's kind of helpful to think. Okay, I kind of know what watch for. The other thing is for you to watch for a dry cough. It quickly goes into a dry cough, which, um, feels very tight in your chest. It's non productive. You're not spitting up sputum and ugly things out of your chest. You just you have this dry, tight cough, and so that's That's the other one to watch for along with fever. So this virus comes with fever. So if you have a fever and dry cough, call your doctor. Make sure you make let somebody know, uh, what's going on and let them help determine whether you have the virus or not.

spk_1:   23:39
You know, loved cases. It's Ah, we hear that people are either getting the test for if the test is unavailable, they're doing either. Ah, um, some form of self quarantine.

spk_0:   23:52
That's right. Oh, my gosh, Kyle, what if I get quarantined?

spk_1:   23:57
That sounds scary.

spk_0:   23:58
It's It's like, What would I do for you? Oh oh, it's only for two weeks. It's like, Oh, my gosh, quarantine, Scary, scary. It's like when I wait a minute. The quarantine that they're talking about really is only two weeks now. We've seen horrific images already. You know that cruise ship in Japan where these poor people were stuck on the ship? They were supposedly stuck there for 14 days, and yet it just became a floating Petri dish, and more and more people get sick. So they finally had to move people off of the ships in order to get them away from, uh, the the spread of the virus. So that was scary to see. You know, those kinds of the images stick in our minds, and they're hard for us to get out. So what do you do if you get quarantine? Well, it's I don't think that it needs to be all that frightening. Um, it's kind of interesting, you know, Tom Hanks and his wife are quarantined down in Australia right now, and they're saying, you know, we're doing what we're supposed to be doing, and we're living in the quarantine, and that's kind of fine. So if you get quarantine, what is it that you do? Well, first of all, I want you to make a plan because I don't want you to just scared. Scare yourself and be scared all the time. About what? If I get quarantine. Well, what are you going to do? What room will you be sleeping in? Where will you stay? Who will take care of you? Um how are you gonna eat meals and and and have food? What about your medicines? It's like, Well, we happen to live, at least in our area where you can have groceries delivered to you. You can have your medications delivered to you if you need to. Um, we don't need to panic over that. We don't need to stockpile all kinds of things and feel like we're gonna be quarantined. And nobody can help us at all. Yes. People can help you.

spk_1:   26:16
Basically what you're talking about, His contingency planning is, and I know that I've you know, I've had a certain amount of nerves about this, especially where I'm work. Hearing that Ah ah. You know, there was a ah grad student who had traveled. That was being tested for Corona virus, and it started a little bit of a panic on lab. But then then I tuned into ah, Town Hall, put on by NASA for all of the NASA centers. By the way, one of the research centers aims up in Silicon Valley. They actually completely shut down because someone tested positive with it. So you start to kind of think, what what's gonna happen? And so I tuned into this town hall and they went through very detailed steps of Well, if this happens, here's what our plan is. If this then happens, here's what our plan is. Here's the steps we're taking what you can do in the meantime. Ah, but in the worst case, here's how it's gonna play out and here's what you're gonna do. And I I felt at the end of that town hall with some of NASA leadership, I felt, uh, not just not just better about it, but I felt like Okay, now I know what to do. And so I think that kind of ties into what you're saying here about having a plan for if you do have to self quarantine, um, just kind of knowing in advance how things will play out. Congee be quite a relief.

spk_0:   27:39
It actually can be. And it's very comforting. Eyes like. Okay, I have a plan and I can trust my plan. I don't I don't have to think about it all the time. It's like, OK, no, I've already dealt with that. I have a contingency plan. I think that's a great word for it. I have a contingency plan, and I can trust that my contingency plan will, uh, take good care of me and take good care of my family. And, um, I need to trust my plan. Planning on having some jigsaw puzzles on hand.

spk_1:   28:12
My dad would love to hear that he is a jigsaw puzzle master. Yeah, it might be a generational thing because I've never found myself anywhere near as entertained with anything in life as my dad is with the jigsaw puzzle. He'll sit there for three or four hours. Justice putting it together.

spk_0:   28:35
Oh, it's great fun, I think, uh, I think my brother long sister in law for that tip jigsaw puzzles.

spk_1:   28:45
Well, you know what? Maybe I don't have to go round up some extras from my dad and send him your way.

spk_0:   28:50
So take care the legitimate concerns. Is that the point? You know, there are some legitimate concerns. Uh, you do need to make some plans and there are precautions you take even if you are in quarantine.

spk_1:   29:04
If you are not in quarantine, right,

spk_0:   29:07
That's right. You know, the CDC keeps saying over and over again the number one thing is wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Okay, so that's happy birthday twice. Or it's twinkle, twinkle, little star. Or, uh, they got some of the more modern songs they sing, too, And, um, but that that's such a simple thing, but is very important. Now if you find yourself washing your hands with scalding hot water, Uh, so many times that now your hands, they're all red and cracked and bleeding, and you're probably washing your hands too much. So I'm not wanting you to get compulsive about it, but I'm wanting you to be diligent about it. So take practical and common sense measures. Um, but you know, some of some of our health anxiety, folks and, um, people that have some some O. C. D that hand washing is an issue for them. This is not an invitation, Thio.

spk_1:   30:13
Indulge

spk_0:   30:14
Wash your hands all the time. That's right. This is this is not a carte blanche for you. You still need to keep keep that compulsion under control. But but for the rest of us, we've gotten fairly lax, I think at the handwashing name that common germ. Ah, suppression kinds of methods of just washing your hands were using hand sanitizer.

spk_1:   30:40
Yeah, if you can find any cause that's one of the first things that went in these runs on the stores

spk_0:   30:46
Always sure did

spk_1:   30:47
so that, you know, that's a lot of what we can do to be proactive and, you know, follow the CDC recommendations on general hygiene. But what would your recommendations be for people to do, too? Not just stay healthy, as healthy as possible, but to ah ah be able to feel calm about this situation without getting really amped up?

spk_0:   31:14
Well, one of the things we want people to do is to stay out of imagined futures. So stay out of your imagination and your thinking and get back into your senses. Um, stay here in the present in the here and now focus on what are you feeling? What are used? What are you seeing? What are you hearing? What colors are you looking at? Um where are you? You pay attention to where you are. Get back into your sensing rather than into your thinking. Now, part of the way that we can do that is doing relaxation exercises. So if you don't have my relaxation audio, you certainly can. Can contact

spk_1:   31:56
are greedy, and that's available at life free of anxiety dot com slash Relax. And actually, next week, we have two episodes that are gonna be coming out. Dealing with that and how to effectively use that in your life would have come out today. Except ah, we decided that we need to really tackle the Corona virus issue first.

spk_0:   32:15
That's right. So So, uh, relax yourself and get a relaxation audio. If you don't have one that you use right now, uh, that will help you stay in the present and focus on the control that you do have. No, there are things that you are in control of and that you can control. So focus on those things that you can control. You can't control the virus. And so, uh, there's no need for you to try to control the virus, but do the things that will keep keep you safe and keep other safe around you. It's okay to have doubts. We all have doubts because none of us live in certainty. None of us can be completely certain, Uh, but I want you to move ahead with your plan and sad when the changes if you get information that says it needs to change. So it's okay for you to change your mind when you've got new information. But make a plan and try to stay with that plan and then keep yourself informed once or twice a day, but not all the time, because that's to steady a diet. We want you to live life while life is here, and so we want you to be in it. Not in the future. Stay here in the present.

spk_1:   33:34
So it's also good to remember that Ah, fear is one of the most powerful motivators around. And, ah, long ago, the media not just social media, but media in general realized that you can get people to stick through a commercial break by making them uncomfortable or making them scared. Ah, and leaving that as an open loop that you keep coming back, Thio, they have an active incentive to keep you somewhat nervous or amped up on edge.

spk_0:   34:06
That's right. Um and they're very good at doing that. By the way,

spk_1:   34:12
A lot of the profession a lot of people get paid a lot of money to, Ah, keep the panic stoked. But what? But what about And this is Eric and I. This doesn't really apply to us because our son is not even one yet, but ah, it has brought the issue to mind of if they're sort of happen when he was a little bit older and talking and asking questions, What? What do you say to a kid without, uh, you know, making them? Ah, scared mess?

spk_0:   34:48
Well, I think that one of the things it's very important for you to talk to your Children. Don't let them just listen to the television and then not talk to them about what it is that they're hearing there. So be sure and talk to your kids about what you're hearing and what they're hearing because they're hearing it, too. And if they're not hearing at your house, they're hearing it at school. So don't assume that you've got them in a bubble and protecting them from information. They hear all this scary stuff. So talk to them about the fact that this is a scary time. This is something that we need to take seriously but that you're gonna do what you can do, uh, to keep them safe. And if they get sick, you're gonna do what you can do to take good care of them and let them know that they may get this virus. They may feel a little bit sick, but they don't need to be afraid of this particular virus because it's not very severe for the kids. They're not the target audience for this,

spk_1:   35:52
and I wonder if there's a certain amount of fear that's may be healthy. And this is why I'm asking you because you're an expert and I am a new parent. But here's some parents say that Oh, you let them touch a hot stove once you know, just so they know do not do is maybe having a little bit of fear. Ah, if it motivates them to wash their hands or be more hygienic, uh, cash. The way I'm asking, this sounds terrible, but do you get what I'm kind of saying is, Oh, I get what

spk_0:   36:23
you're saying

spk_1:   36:23
is fear couldn't be healthy rather than just traumatizing.

spk_0:   36:28
Well, yes, there. And fear is something we all have. And it is a protective mechanism that were built that's built in to us. So a little bit of fear is a good motivator. And we need to let our kids know that they also need to be responsible for taking care of their own hygiene. You know? No, cover your mouth when you cough, Cover your mouth when you sneeze, you know, sneeze into the crook of your arm. Be responsible for your own self and for your friends and the people around you because you're spreading the disease. And, well, we know that kids are are like little Petri dishes sometimes. And, um so yes, help your kids be responsible and a little bit of fear, um, can be helpful in that. But what I don't want is I don't want your kids to panic and feline. Uh, they can't function because kids get very scared and they're gonna take their cues from what their parents are doing. So if you've got your kids, they're they're gonna they read you like a book. You can't hide what you're really feeling. So they're gonna pick up on your fear. They're going to pick up on whether you're, um, scared to go to work or not. So talk to them about the fact that, well, Daddy's home working from home now, or Mommy's home working from home now because somebody got infected at their building and they're not allowed to go to work for her right now. It's okay for them to know that, you know, why are we off school? Um, why can't we go to stool? Well, because we've got this virus going around and it can make people very sick, and we are trying to stop the spread of it. So it's very important for us to take thes hygiene method and, uh, do do the things that we can do, um, not to scare them necessarily, but to be realistic and be realism, they know the truth. And if you're telling them the truth, then they're they're more likely to trust

spk_1:   38:40
you, and you don't wanna, you know, create a sense of panic or trauma. No, you just wanted to write. The goal is to have them be, ah, informed enough toe know what's going on but not running around thinking that the whole world's gonna end? Because I know, uh, everything is the biggest thing in the world to a kid, of whatever they're thinking about at that moment.

spk_0:   39:07
That's right. That's right. And, um so we want to get our kids through this with, ah, uh, that we can't protect them from having fear. They're goingto have some fear about this because we all have some fear about this. This is an uncharted territory for for most of us who are alive, we're all of us. They're alike, actually, Um, I mean, we've had some of the small scares, like SARS and, uh, the swine flu Ebola. You know that That's a scary one. And it's much more lethal than what we're dealing with here. But we didn't have that huge of an outbreak of it. This is This is a pandemic. And we haven't had a pandemic, uh, in our lifetimes. So, um, it is kind of upsetting, and it's unknown. It's uncharted territory. So it's okay for us to be a little bit nervous about it and anxious about it. But I don't want people getting stuck in worry. Worries is, I heard one of the ah professionals that my professional organization on anxiety used the example of, Um, worry is like a garden. If you are really tending to your garden and you're out there weeding it and fertilizing it and watering it, it grows and grows. And so if I really pay attention to worry and a nurse, it it just grows and grows.

spk_1:   40:35
That's right, you know?

spk_0:   40:38
So no, I don't I don't want you to be tending your worry guard. Uh, I want you to, uh, that that all you know, let let it let it pass. You know, decide what you're gonna worry about, what you're not gonna worry about. And most things don't you don't need thio grab ahold of and the things that you do decide to worry about. Then make a plan. Um, So if you're concerned about quarantine, make a plan. If you're concerned about going to work, what's your plan? Uh, you know, have a plan on what you're gonna do

spk_1:   41:15
Well, that is very helpful advice. Ah. So, Dr Barr, I really want to thank you for letting me Ah, step in Ah, on Erica's behalf and be a part of this cause it's something that just in our house, we've been talking about a lot recently, and I think, Ah, you have a lot of great insight into dealing with this in a productive way. And was there anything you wanted to kind of wrap up with?

spk_0:   41:41
I just I just want people to be hopeful that we are going to get through this. Remind yourselves that we are a resilient people. We we have a lot of creativity. We're gonna weather through this. So, uh, let's be hopeful and be cautious. Take take the necessary precautions that we need to Let's, uh, encourage each other to roll with the punches and, uh, and stay in community. Stay in touch with your friends, even if my telephone, um, maybe maybe you can't go see them because of their infected, or they got the virus. But stay in touch with, um and, um, support each other as best we can. We'll get through this together.

spk_1:   42:27
Well, it's great parting thought Ah, thank you so much for being with us today, Dr Bar. Really appreciate it.

spk_0:   42:34
I appreciate you being on the program with me. This bin has been very nice. I've enjoyed it.

spk_1:   42:39
Oh, great. And for for those of you listening ah, just to let you know. Ah, next week we're shooting for Monday. We're going to have the first part of our episode on relax, ation and how to intentionally practice. Relax, ation. Ah, it ties in very nicely with Dr Barr's relaxation audio. I would recommend, if you haven't yet go to life free of anxiety dot com slash Relax. You can get your own copy of that and give it a test drive. Ah, from what Erica says is is gonna be a great episode about understanding the role relax ation can have in your life. Ah, umm and ah, that will be at the beginning of next week.

spk_0:   43:24
Sounds good. I carried you all of you to listen to that. And, uh, we do try to cover you know, what are the benefits of relaxing? And then how do you go about doing that? And, um, I think you'll find it very interesting.

spk_1:   43:38
And the best news of all is it's gonna be Erica back, so Ah, I I am off the hook for that one. Okay, doctor. Later, Dr Bar. Okay, Thanks so much for tuning in today. I hope that something in today's conversation provided you with a feeling of hope, determination or purpose. I know what you're going through. And that's why I want to give you some of the tools that helped me in my anxiety journey to get your free copy of Dr Barr's relax ation audio that helped change my life forever. Just goto life free of anxiety dot com slash Relax. Thanks again for listening. And remember, you are not broken. You are not alone. And you were on your way to living a life free of anxiety. See you next week.