As COVID-19 vaccines become available, you are not alone if you are experiencing anxiety.

You might be concerned about vaccine safety and effectiveness, what it will be like to get the vaccine, or you might feel anxious about when you will be able to get the vaccine.

Stress and anxiety are normal reactions to an abnormal situation, like a once-in-a-century pandemic. Many people are already feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed with day to day concerns. It makes sense if you are anxious thinking about vaccines on top of that.

Here are a few tips from the NYS Office of Mental Health that might help:

Name it and face it:

Anxiety grows when you avoid it.

  • Name your feelings as anxiety or stress.
  • Try to pinpoint WHAT is causing anxiety (sometimes anxiety about one thing can seep into other issues).

Focus on what you can control.

Focus on what you can control.

  • Continue to follow guidelines about mask-wearing, physical distancing, and handwashing.
  • Identify your WHY — Think about the risks and benefits to you and your loved ones as you make a decision about the vaccine.
    Pinpoint what you are worried about and seek out information on what to expect.

Practice acceptance.

Practice acceptance.

  • Sometimes, trying to fight your fears and anxieties can lead to more distress. Accepting your fears without judgment may lessen your anxiety.
  • Accept that there is no way to know every single piece of information, and that sometimes information changes. You can make a good decision using your values and information you trust.

Practice compassion.

Practice compassion.

  • Remind yourself that this is a traumatic event of incredible proportions. You are doing your best. You are doing a good job.
  • Recognize that people who are working to distribute the vaccine are doing their best, too.

Don’t forget self-care.

Don’t forget self-care.

When you are stressed, the first things to go are the things that can help you control your stress:

  • Sleeping enough
  • Eating nutritious food at regular times
  • Moving your body
  • Getting outside
  • Reaching out for help
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