Am I going to get sick? Will I get sick while interpreting? The truth is, no one knows. By planning for the worst-case scenario, taking precautions, and managing the waves of anxiety, we can regulate the fear we are feeling.
Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S
Lisa Dion is an international teacher, creator of Synergetic Play Therapy, founder and President of the Synergetic Play Therapy Institute, and host of the Lessons from the Playroom podcast. She is the 2015 recipient of the Association for Play Therapy’s Professional Education and Training Award of Excellence and the author of Aggression in Play Therapy: A Neurobiological Approach for Integrating Intensity. Lisa is also a Master Certified Demartini Method Facilitator providing education and support to individuals and organizations worldwide.
Ludmila Golovine is President/CEO of MasterWord Services, Inc., a global language solutions company. As a language professional, Golovine knows first-hand how interpreting, especially in the healthcare, social services, education, and legal arenas, may present challenges such as stress, anxiety, compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma. For the past 10 years, she has applied her skills as a Certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner and a Trained Demartini Method Facilitator to tirelessly help promote health and wellness to those in the language services industry.
Thank you for connecting. One of the questions that we face today and one of the issues that we face today is how contagious the coronavirus is. Many of us are worried about getting infected just by stepping outside, by going and picking up food at a restaurant, by having to sign a letter or package that arrived at our door. At the same time, many of us still have a need to continue going to work, to healthcare facilities and be there alongside with healthcare workers, doctors and nurses. So how do we deal with this anxiety that we’re all faced with today?
Am I going to get sick? is a question that is on many of your minds, particularly if you are still heading into the hospital setting to facilitate conversation at the hospital. This can be a question that is very much in the forefront. May even be producing some panic or some fear or anxiety in you may make it harder for you to, to want to go, to be able to do your job. And so let’s talk a little bit about how to manage the fears around the thought Am I going to get sick?
So the reality is, is that you don’t know if you’re going to get sick. None of us know if we’re going to get sick ultimately, all we can do is to take precautions. So, and I know that you know this part already that there are certain protocols for you to follow when you go to the hospital. As soon as you leave the hospital, there’s protocols for you to follow to maximize you not getting, not getting sick, but the fear is still there, and it’s important that we also talk about how to regulate or manage through the fear itself so when we have a fear or a thought, that sounds something like, I’m going to get sick. What we’re actually doing is we’re taking an unknown situation and we are projecting worst case scenario into the unknown. So we’re actually from the thought I’m going to get sick or I could get sick, actually, creating a sense of anxiety in our own nervous system. We are making an assumption in that moment in our mind around the possibility, and we’re actually in the moment playing out the worst case scenario of what we think that will happen. What we think that would actually mean. Maybe some of you are actually going so far as thinking and I may, I may die from this. So let’s all pause and just take a deep breath even as this discussion is, is happening right now, because this is even just talking about it can bring up some, some anxiety. So just notice if you’re having any and go ahead and take a deep breath and give your body what your body needs right now.
So there, there are two ways to work with this. One is to actually create a plan. The mind actually settles a little bit and there can be a feeling of safety a little more safe anyway, when there is a plan involved. So I want you to go ahead and plan it out in your mind. Go ahead and play out worst-case scenario in your mind. So all right. You get sick, then what? And come up with actually a plan, strategize it so that you take the unknown out of it so that you’ve been forward thinking about it. So, all right, you get sick. So where are you going to quarantine? What is that going to look like with your family? Talk to your family about it. Come up with a plan in case anybody in the family gets sick. Um, you know, house food gonna happen? Um, whatever it may be, plan it out. When you have a plan, it will help you be able to recognize that in your worst-case scenario, there are still things that you can do, and that you can be prepared for it. So truly take the time and come up with a plan if this is a big fear for you.
And then the other one is just really taking the time when you feel that thought come up, when you have that thought to really let yourself just regulate through it. Oftentimes it comes in the form of anxiety and anxiety in the bodies like this. So one of the most helpful things is move the body, move the anxiety through. Don’t stay like this. So take a walk If you can still walk. Turn the music on, dance, shake it out. Breathe, move, connect with your body, even ground your body. So pushing on your body, hugging yourself, taking those deep breaths, orienting and centering yourself when the wave of anxiety comes up really important.
So those are really three things, follow the protocol the best of your ability just so that the things that you know you need to do when you’re in the hospital setting to make sure that you’re safe. Um, go ahead and make a plan in case, in case it happens, plan the whole thing out. Get really clear in your mind about what exactly you’re afraid of. And then plan it out, plan for worst-case scenario. It’s, by the way, some of the things that the great business leaders of the world, the world’s do. You know CEOs of companies we plan for worst-case scenario. I’m asking you to plan as if you’re the CEO of your own body. Your own company which you are plan for the worst-case scenario. Talk to the people in your life so that everyone is on board. And then the third one is really learn how to manage when you feel the waves of anxiety come up, find a way to move through your body. Don’t stay still with it. Don’t stay stuck in it! Move it! Move it! Move it! Move it! Move it!