Anxiety related to the recent coronavirus outbreak is now on the rise. Sustained high anxiety can cause lots of harm to the body and mind, and we all know this. So, we need to find out some ways to cope up with coronavirus anxiety. Isn’t it? If you are willing to know about some of the ways to cope up with anxiety due to the coronavirus outbreak then you need to read this further.
10 Ways To Cope Up With Coronavirus Anxiety:
Fears and anxiety about covid-19 can cause lots of harm, especially if you are already surviving with an anxiety disorder. However, you need to follow some ways to cope up during this critical time. Lets take a look at some of them:
Understand Your Anxiety
It is very true now it is a real frightening period. We are in the midst of coronavirus pandemic, with entire countries shutting down. Some of us are also living in regions that have already lots of cases of coronavirus patients. In between all these, while watching all the headlines over news, we are all wondering about what exactly would be going to happen next. Isn’t it? So, this sort of anxiety is common in many of us. We first need to understand that this anxiety might be natural and we need to acknowledge it. Not only this, we also need to work on this. We need to try out our ways to manage such anxiety and fears.
Stay Informed But Do Not Check The News Obsessively
It is important to stay well informed about the situation, so that you can follow safety precautions and take advices and do your own part so as to reduce or slow down the spreading of coronavirus. However, you also need to note what all to focus on with and what all to discard, as there are lots of fake news too regarding coronavirus everywhere and checking all news obsessively can actually make you fear more.
So, you need to limit how often you actually check the updates on coronavirus and do not monitor the social media news posts constantly. In case your anxiety is getting worse because of reading or listening to news then keep away from the media for some time and start focusing on something else. You can restrict yourself from reading or watching news and can ask someone to share only important updates about the current situation. Moreover, you also need to be very careful about what exactly you are sharing.
Practice To Tolerate Uncertainty
In the United States, intolerance of uncertainty has been increasing and this makes people more vulnerable to anxiety.(1)
According to a study during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, it showed that individual who had a tougher time in accepting the uncertainty of the situation, were known to be more likely to experience elevated anxiety.(2)
The solution here is to learn how to face uncertainty in your daily life gradually. You can start practicing this by doing simple task; such as not texting a friend immediately asking for the answer when you are stuck up with any question; or say go for a hike without previously checking the weather condition, and so on. These small things will help you to tolerate uncertainty.
Focus On The Things That Can Be Controlled By You
At this time of coronavirus outbreak there are a lot of things running outside which we cannot control, or rather we can say which are out of our control. At such a condition it is obvious to get afraid, stressed or anxiety. However, what could work better for us is to focus on things that we can actually control.
Say for example wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water on a frequent basis, avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, or face, staying at home and maintaining social distancing, getting enough of sleep that would help in supporting your immune system, and following all recommendations from health authorities.
Do Not Overestimate The Threat
One of the best ways to cope up with the coronavirus anxiety is to not overestimate the threat. The virus can be dangerous; with an estimated 1.4% to 2.3% death rate.(2, 3) So, everyone must be serious about taking all the precautions so as to avoid the infection.
However, you should also realize that we humans tend to exaggerate the danger of such unfamiliar threats like coronavirus, as compared to the familiar threats like flu or accidents. Watching media coverage on coronavirus constantly can contribute to the sense of danger, which in turn can result in excessive fear and further escalation of perceived danger.(5)
So, in order to reduce this coronavirus anxiety, it is important for you to limit watching coronavirus news, not more than 30 minutes a day.
Do Not Underestimate Human Resiliency
Most of us fear how we will be managing if the coronavirus shows up in our town, at school, or at our society. Human minds are truly good at predicting the worst. Isn’t it?
However, research shows that people tend to overestimate how badly they would be affected by any negative event and underestimate how well they will be able to cope with and start adjusting with the difficult situations.(6, 7)
You need to be more mindful that you are more resilient than you actually think. This could help you cope with coronavirus anxiety.
Plan For What Can Be Done By You
It is obvious that you must be concerned about so many things during this time of coronavirus outbreak. However, you need to try to relieve at least some level of anxiety. For this, you need to first write down some of your worries that might be because of the coronavirus outbreak, and if you start feeling anxious try and take a break. You also need to focus on the things that can be solved or changed by you, rather than those that are beyond your control. You can try meditating for some time so as to keep yourself focused in the positive and possible things. So, try and evaluate all the things that can be done by you and then plan for doing it and then finally do it. You might get some sort of relief slowly and gradually.
Even If You Are Physically Isolated, Stay Connected With People
With such an increasing rate of the coronavirus spread all over the world, it is best to practice social distancing and to remain at home without having any social gathering. This could at least help in breaking down the spread of coronavirus. So, we need to isolate ourselves from friends, relatives, and other peoples physically.
Though this physical isolation is required at this point of time to control the rapid spread of this infectious virus, we must make sure that we remain connected with people by other means, say through cell phones, social media, and so on. Completely isolating yourself from your friends and others might increase the chances of anxiety more and more. So, stay in touch with people through various other means. You can give a call to your friend, or try video calling or be active and in touch through social media. It is also great to share your experiences if you suffer from anxiety and stress during this period. Some counseling from your loved ones can help you get some sort of relief from the condition.
Take Care Of Your Body, Mind And Spirit
When we are at home we obviously have a lot of free time to take care of our body, mind and our spirit. For this, you need to start some good physical exercises at home, practice some self care strategies for helping yourself keep calm and relaxed at mind by adopting some sort of relaxing techniques like doing meditation or listening to soothing music. Moreover, as we have plenty of time with us now we need to take proper rest and sleep nicely for at least 8-10 hours for better health. You can also try taking new hobbies, such as reading books, painting, or writing and so on. These would actually take lots of your worries.
Now, what more can be done to take care of our body, mind and spirit is to spend time watching the nature, maybe watching the sunrise, sunset, or spending time in gardening and being with the greens.
NOTE: Be careful about not taking any sort of medications by yourself without consulting doctor.
10. Seek Professional Help If You Need
Those individuals who are vulnerable to anxiety or any sort of related disorders, it might be difficult for them to find coronavirus outbreak especially overwhelming. These people might experience symptoms of anxiety constantly during this crucial period. In such condition you need to get professional help from your mental health professional and take medications or practice cognitive behavioral therapy as advised by your doctor for treating anxiety issues.
We all are facing a real critical time now where coronavirus has taken lots of lives and many are being infected by the virus. However, it is also true that the coronavirus anxiety is growing more and more just like the virus spreads, and we need to try all our possibilities to cope up with this situation. We talked about some of the ways to cope up with coronavirus anxiety here. You can try any of these ways and look if they work for you during this time. However, make sure that if your anxiety is going really worse, then do not delay in meeting your doctor.
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