How to Avoid Triggering Anxiety Through Excessive Home Cleaning for COVID-19
Long after most people have returned to work, even with social distancing, wearing masks, taking extreme care to wash hands rigorously and often, avoiding crowds, and limiting time in small confined spaces, there’s still the home environment to contend with. According to some experts, it’s more likely people can contract COVID-19 at home than outdoors and in some places long suspect, such as grocery stores. Without minimizing the importance of home cleanliness, excessive home cleaning for COVID-19 can trigger anxiety. These steps can help. Make cleaning a ritual, yet don’t spend hours doing it. Rituals and daily regimens are often helpful for those prone to anxiety or who find comfort using them to cope with stress. As long as the ritual doesn’t veer into the obsessive category, cleaning on a daily basis, or when it’s necessary, such as wiping down surfaces in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and other frequently used areas of the home, the action can tamp down anxious thoughts. Instead, the act of cleaning can serve as reassurance that you’re doing the right thing to help your family stay safe and healthy, that it’s effective, and it’s something you can control. This is perhaps especially important during a time when there’s still so much uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. We don’t know, for example, when there’ll be a safe and effective vaccine or when therapeutics and medicines to treat the cond...
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