Use DBT Skills to Manage Coronavirus Anxiety Using COVID
Dialectic Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based therapy developed by Marsha Linehan that provides us with many excellent concepts and skills to practice and incorporate with various areas of distress and dysregulation, including the current uncertain times of living with COVID-19. Dr. John Wagner (R. Psych), the Director of the DBT Centre of Vancouver, developed this clever acronym to help remind individuals to use DBT skills to manage coronavirus anxiety. And anyone who is familiar with DBT skills, you know how much they love acronyms.
Use DBT Skills to Manage Coronavirus Anxiety – COVID
Commend yourself and others for taking such significant steps to protect the vulnerable from the serious complications that can sometimes arise from the virus
Observe your thoughts and feeling and practice labelling them accordingly. For instance, “I’m feeling scared”, “I’m engaging in shallow breathing”, “I’m having a thought that things are never going to get better.”.
Acknowledge the normalcy of many of your thoughts and feelings. Judging yourself for feeling sad or scared often makes them more difficult to manage. We are all finding ourselves feeling distressed, at times.
(I)dentify (or Check) the Facts
Effectively use reliable sources to consider the facts associated with the virus. Carefully choose the forums you are using to read about the virus and limit the amount of time you spend doing so.
(D)on’t Forget to Use Your Other DBT Skills
- Keep in mind the value of Accumulating Positive Emotions by engaging in pleasant events and acting according to your values. For instance, watch funny movies or call to check-in on others
- Practice using Opposite Action to ineffective urges. For instance, socialize with others using Skype or Zoom, limit substance use, and exercise in ways you can.
- Use Distress Tolerance skills accordingly. For instance, engage in distracting activities, practice self-soothe and use radical acceptance, as needed.
Remember this is a stressful time for all of us, but you have the skills you need to get through this. Take the time to slow down and use your DBT skills to manage coronavirus anxiety. It will likely take some work, and some support from others, but this too shall pass.
Dr. Joti Samra, and many of her associates, are trained and well versed in dialectic behavioural therapy (DBT) if you need some extra support. Sign up for a no-commitment consultation and get started with video counselling.
One third of working adults struggle with chronic sleep difficulties. Here are 5 tips to sleep better without medication.
Most people who are dealing with chronic stressors experience some impact on how they feel physically. Here are 4 ways to manage your symptoms.