Tips for Dealing With Anxiety Related to CoronavirusLindsay Chambers
The worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 has caused massive disruptions in people’s day-to-day routines. Large swaths of the global population are now under some version of shelter-in-place orders in hopes of flattening the curve, while medical researchers race to find a vaccine that can end the pandemic and save countless lives.
Even if you know you’re doing all the right things to protect yourself and your loved ones by staying home, washing your hands regularly, not touching your face and wearing a mask when you must go out in public, you may still be feeling heightened anxiety in these uncertain times. Why do we feel anxious, and what can you do to manage it?
Are You Feeling More Anxious Than Usual?
Since coronavirus represents a threat to your health as well as your lifestyle, you may be experiencing fear of the unknown and worries about how long this pandemic will prevent you from doing many of the things you enjoy. However, anxiety is longer-lasting than fear. You’ve probably noticed if you’re more irritable, cranky or short-tempered than usual; struggling with insomnia or nightmares; or feeling like you can’t concentrate on anything other than news about COVID-19.
Though anxiety is a normal response to stressful circumstances beyond your control, it isn’t a pleasant feeling to have, and many people are looking for ways to cope amid the new challenges coronavirus represents. How can you effectively protect your mental well-being under these conditions?
1. Accept Your Emotions
The world is a scary place to be right now. It’s perfectly natural for you to feel scared, sad or have problems thinking about anything else. Accept your emotions as they arise, instead of trying to push them away or bury them under the rug.
2. Stay Busy
Another way to deal with anxiety that threatens to overwhelm you is to find something to keep yourself occupied. Rather than filling every spare moment reading headlines about the spread of coronavirus, do something constructive such as taking a walk outside, calling friends to check in on them or volunteering online.
3. Control the Things You Can
Much of your coronavirus anxiety probably stems from all the unpredictability the pandemic has created. While world events are out of your hands, you can make yourself feel better by taking proactive steps to keep yourself and those you care about healthy. Practice smart social distancing when you need to leave home for essentials, disinfect frequently touched surfaces and follow the CDC’s handwashing guidelines. Be kind to yourself and make note of all the things you are doing right.
4. Develop Mindfulness Habits
If you are struggling to manage your anxiety related to coronavirus, work on incorporating more mindfulness strategies into your daily life. Meditation, journaling and apps such as Calm and Headspace can all teach you how to take control of your stress and become a happier person.
Help Is Here for You
If you find yourself having difficulty coping with stress due to coronavirus, you aren’t alone. At Serene Behavioral Health, we’re here to equip you with the foundational life skills you need to protect your mental well-being, even amid the global spread of COVID-19. Contact us anytime you feel overwhelmed with anxiety or related emotions.