Coping with Coronavirus Anxiety
By : Gauri
Date : 27-04-2020
The present is pretty distressing- all we can think about is the Novel Coronavirus that has
gripped the world and brought our lives to a standstill. Adding to this, practicing social
distancing isn’t making the scene any better. This is certainly taking a toll on people’s mental health, and more so for people who are already suffering from serious anxiety issues.
Hoarding essentials, constantly worrying about one’s own health, obsessive thoughts and
actions such as washing hands every now and then, and sleep-related issues could be some
signs that you’re going through coronavirus anxiety.
While it is great to keep yourself updated with the news about the pandemic, you should also realize that it could make things worse for some others. If you are feeling anxious or know somebody in your circle who might be undergoing something similar in such daunting times, there are plenty of things to keep you occupied and feel better. Here are a few tips you could follow:
1. Take a break:
Now that you’re probably following social distancing, the only source of entertainment and touch with the outside world could be social media. Whether or not you want to know more about the pandemic, it has become extremely hard to ignore it. Regular news updates and conversations on the same could really stress you out. If you are starting to feel that social media is making you more anxious than normal, then it’s time for a social media detox. Stay away from such platforms for a few days until you start to feel better again.
While it is important to follow social distancing, it doesn’t mean you cannot reach out to people! If the thought of coronavirus is stressing you out or making you anxious, it is always important to talk- whether it is a close friend or someone you could trust with how you are feeling. Thanks to technological advancements today, you can also connect with an old friend who you haven’t been in touch with since all of us have a lot of time on our hands now. There are also anxiety helplines to help you feel better where you can talk anonymously.
3.Try out something new:
We’ve all, at some point in our lives, said: “I would definitely do this if I had the time”. And now, you actually do! It could be getting back to an old hobby or trying something entirely new. Dedicate some part of the day to get creative. Take a course online, or learn dance- it’s time to discover the hidden talent inside you!
4. Engage in mindfulness and deep breathing:
When you are feeling anxious, it always helps to go to a place that is familiar and keeps you grounded. It could be a hot shower in the middle of the day, some cooking in your kitchen, or just snuggling in bed with your favorite book in hand- if it helps you slow down the anxious thoughts, just do it. Deep breathing exercises along with meditation and yoga or exercise could also really help you bust that stress bubble around you.
5. Keep Up The Chores:
Yes, our lives have come to an indefinite halt but it is important to stick to your daily routines and chores as much as possible. They could be simple things like going to bed and waking up at the same time as you did on any other normal day. And if you find more time in your hands, then try taking this as an opportunity to create a new routine such as exercising, reading a book or devoting a couple of hours for a hobby.
6. Focus on things you can control:
There a lot of things that you cannot control- how long the pandemic lasts, how seriously other people are taking this and how this is going to impact our communities. But, there are a lot more things that you can control and it is important that you focus on these to keep yourself grounded during such an upheaval. Avoiding crowds and gatherings at all costs, strictly following the regulations put forth by health authorities, washing your hands frequently and avoiding all non-essential travel and shopping are a few things you can do from your side to keep your health in check.
It is completely okay if you are feeling anxious. Acknowledging your feelings, rather than trying to ignore them or judging yourself for how you feel, can certainly help you cope in a healthy way. And, good news: You are not alone in this. You are not the only one feeling anxious or freaking about the current situation; the reality is pretty frightening at the moment, so the way you’re feeling is completely natural. But remember not to let your thoughts spiral. Take time out for yourself and indulge in the little things that could put a smile on your face.
Make sure to look out for yourself and the people around you. Spread kindness and compassion during such difficult times. Be kind to yourself! We’ll surely get through this together.
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