Don’t Let Coronavirus Send Your Germaphobia into Hysteria
There is no shortage of news and social media coverage on coronavirus (COVID-19) and its spread throughout the globe. It’s hard to decipher the truth when all you see is exaggerated news, funny memes, and videos of shoppers fighting over hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Let’s face it, news sources want good ratings and drama; and scare tactics work to get people watching news stations and reading stories. The problem is that those who have germaphobia, asthma, or who have compromised immunity may feel like the end of the world is coming, which could send them into irrational panic mode, as if the apocalypse is coming.
Keep Calm and Get Control with Positive Thinking
If you have germaphobia (aka mysophobia), which is an extreme or irrational fear of dirt or contamination, coronavirus may feel like your worst fear come true. You may already wash your hands several times a day, but now you are reluctant to touch doorknobs, shake hands, or go in public places where people could sneeze or cough. You also may feel that having an overabundance of disinfectant wipes is essential for survival.
When it’s controlled, germ fear can be a positive thing that helps you to keep your environment clean and you to be healthier. The problem is that germaphobia can also be linked to anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), where the phobia becomes so extreme that the sufferer will spend hours a day cleaning and re-cleaning their home or washing their hands until they are raw.
When you feel out of control with coronavirus germaphobia, the first thing to help you calm yourself is to acknowledge the fear and panic and ask yourself if it’s interfering with your normal daily functions. If it is, redirect your focus on the positivity in the present, and don’t let unrealistic media-fed visions of the future send your brain into overdrive. Remember that SARS and the Swine Flu had everyone nervous — but we all survived! When you let your brain think about future scenarios that haven’t (and won’t) happen, that’s when anxiety spirals out of control.
Remember: You are not alone and it’s natural to worry and be concerned about your well-being and safety, as well as your loved ones. Others are fearful, as well, because the media mostly focuses on the negative, misleading coverage that shows angry hoarders at supermarkets and snarky memes, giving us a feeling of hopelessness.
The best thing you can do is to keep your normal daily routine and limit the news and social media you expose yourself to. Look outside and realize it is just another, ordinary day. Here is some calming advice to not let germaphobia ruin your life and keep yourself positive and clear-headed:
- Exercise: Go for a run, practice yoga, or take a brisk walk to keep your body physically strong.
- Eat a proper diet: Keep your immunity up with a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and proteins.
- Get a good night’s sleep: Self-care and good sleeping habits are good for mental well-being and keeping away negative thoughts.
Remember that coronavirus is just like any other flu-like virus, and you can stay germ-free and help prevent its spread by following these U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommended techniques:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
When It Gets to Be Too Much, Seek Help
If germaphobia during the coronavirus pandemic seems unmanageable and has taken you over with negative thoughts and obsessions, there is help. Hypnosis can relieve your symptoms and restore your mental and social well-being by creating positive, realistic thoughts. You’ll be relaxed and we’ll get to the root of your fears, and then refocus those worries into positive outcomes and healthy levels of cleanliness.
Contact Kim Guche for more information on how her hypnotherapy techniques can help you overcome germaphobia.