It’s natural to feel heightened concern and perhaps even experience anxiety about the news of a possible surge of COVID-19 cases in combination with the upcoming flu season.
Even though some amount of concern is expected — even normal — constant worry about the uncertainty that comes with flu season can be harmful to your mental health and wellness. Instead of focusing on what’s outside your control, try focusing on the steps you can take to boost your physical and emotional resilience.
“If you find yourself worrying excessively, take a moment to pause and take 3 or more slow deep breaths. Take a deeper breath than normal, really filling your lungs, during a slow count to 4. Exhale over a slow count to 5 or 6,” said Don Mordecai, MD, Kaiser Permanente’s national leader for mental health and wellness. “This kind of conscious control of your breath is fundamental to practices of mindfulness and meditation. It can be a great way to settle your mind and body in response to stress and you can practice it anytime.”
Mordecai also offers the following suggestions to help people manage anxiety this flu season:
Members who have symptoms of the flu or COVID-19, please call our nurse advice line, email your doctor, or make a phone appointment. If you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.