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Anx­i­ety about your health and well-be­ing, and that of your loved ones, doesn’t have to es­ca­late into panic for you to start us­ing anx­i­ety man­age­ment and re­silience build­ing skills. Here’s where to start.

1 Stop scrolling

If you no­tice anx­ious thoughts spike fol­low­ing a Twit­ter or In­sta­gram sesh, or af­ter watch­ing the news, it’s time to tune out. Even prepan­demic, re­search showed that health anx­i­ety can be high fol­low­ing ex­po­sure to dis­ease-re­lated me­dia — and there is no short­age of virus-dom­i­nated sto­ries at the mo­ment. “Many psy­chol­o­gists, my­self in­cluded, are rec­om­mend­ing that clients limit me­dia ex­po­sure as one way to help man­age ex­ces­sive anx­i­ety,” says Dr. Me­lanie Badali. Cut back to check­ing your so­cial chan­nels just once a day, or ev­ery few days, to give your­self a break from the pan­demic news cy­cle.

2 Bal­ance the prob­a­bil­i­ties

If you’re fol­low­ing the gov­ern­ment’s health ad­vice, tak­ing rea­son­able pre­cau­tions and oth­er­wise in good health, it’s im­por­tant to fac­tor all that in be­fore you freak out on your way into the gro­cery store. “I al­ways tell my clients to think about the prob­a­bil­i­ties,” says Dr. Kris­ten Kaploun.

3 Call out your anx­ious thoughts

If you’ve bal­anced the prob­a­bil­i­ties (whether it’s the dan­ger of shop­ping in-store, your child go­ing to school or at­tend­ing a dis­tanced birthday party, for ex­am­ple) and you know the likely out­come is prob­a­bly fine, but you’re still start­ing to panic, it’s time to “call a duck a duck,” as Kaploun puts it. In other words, con­cede that it’s your anx­i­ety talk­ing. “If we’re able to ac­knowl­edge that anx­ious thought, it’s much eas­ier to dis­miss it,” she says.

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