It is a frightening time for everyone. Countries, cities, schools, and businesses are shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of us live in areas that have been greatly affected by this dangerous disease. Others are preparing for the worst. All of us are watching the news so that we can figure out what to do next.
For most people, the uncertainty surrounding this disease is the most difficult thing to handle. We don’t know how worse it will get in the future and what that means to our loved ones and careers. This makes us vulnerable to anxiety and depression. As we face this unique crisis, there are certain things you can do to manage your fears and anxiety.
1. Avoid checking the news obsessively
It is important to stay informed of what’s happening around. This allows you to follow safety precautions as reported by health experts. However, other people are taking advantage of the opportunity to spread the wrong information. It’s important to choose what you watch and listen to carefully.
Remember, your mind will always project what you feed it regularly. Here are a few tips:
- Watch and listen to trustworthy sources.
- Reducing the number of times you check for news updates – Monitoring your social media feed and news can become compulsive and counterproductive thus fueling fear and anxiety instead of easing it. Paying attention to how you are feeling and making necessary adjustments is key.
- Avoid the media if you are feeling overwhelmed – If you’ve been feeling anxious for a couple of days, it might help to limit your media consumption for some time.
- Verify the information before sharing – You should always verify the information before sharing it. You need to do your part to ensure that you are not spreading wrong information to create unnecessary panic.
2. Focus on the things in your control
At the moment, there are so many things that are not in your control. They include the length of the pandemic, how people behave, and what will happen to our loved ones. Although it’s difficult to accept, most of us react by searching for answers on the web and thinking of the different scenarios that might play out.
Focusing on things that are not in your control will not get you anywhere. They’ll leave you feeling anxious, drained, and overwhelmed. Whenever you catch yourself getting caught up in fear and anxiety, shift your focus immediately to the things you can control. There are a lot of things you can do to minimize the risk of catching the virus or spreading it to your loved ones. They include:
- Washing your hands with soap and water frequently or using hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol
- Avoiding touching your nose, eyes, and mouth
- Staying home as much as you can
- Avoiding crowds
- Avoiding non-essential traveling or shopping
- Keeping distance between yourself and others when you are out
- Eating nutritious foods and getting enough sleep to boost your immunity
Apart from these guidelines, you can also:
- Write down your worries about this global pandemic
- Come up with a list of solutions to your problems
- Concentrate on things that you can solve
- Come up with a plan of action
3. Connect with your loved ones
Research studies have shown that the majority of people with coronavirus, especially young healthy people don’t show any symptoms but can spread the virus. That’s why it is important to follow the guidelines by practicing social distancing.
But human beings are social creatures. We all crave to connect with others. Isolation can make us feel anxious. And this affects our physical health negatively. This is why it’s important to stay connected with our loved ones as much as possible. You can:
- Prioritize staying in touch with your loved ones, especially if you usually withdraw when feeling anxious or depressed.
- Substitute in-person visits by video chatting. There are lots of amazing apps that will help you connect with your loved ones.
- Connect with your loved ones on social media. Social media is a powerful tool that helps you remember that you are not alone.
4. Take good care of yourself
You need to eat healthy foods, meditate, read books, and get plenty of sleep. If you have a backyard, consider getting some sun and exercising regularly.
You need to be kind to yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Take some time off from work to relax and communicate or play with your loved ones.
Find new ways of exercising. Staying indoors all day can make you anxious and stressed. Come up with new ways to stay active in and out of the house. You should consider cycling, walking, or hiking. You can also look for exercise classes online if you don’t want to go outside.
Avoid self-medicating when you are dealing with anxiety and depression. Now is not the time to abuse drugs.
5. Helping others
Right now, it’s easy to get caught up in our struggles and fears. However, you should keep in mind that other people are facing harder times than you. You can focus on helping and supporting communities in need. Doing kind acts for others will not only help you regain control over your life but also add a sense of meaning and purpose to life.
More than 80 percent of people in the US consider themselves religious or spiritual. Spirituality has been linked to happiness and wellbeing because it gives us a sense of meaning and purpose. One of the best ways to protect yourself against anxiety is to have this sense of meaning and purpose.
Whenever you are feeling anxious, say a short prayer or meditate for a few minutes. You can also come up with a list of fun activities that you can do whenever you start feeling anxious.
Fear about the coronavirus disease can take a toll on you, especially if you have underlying mental issues. We shall persevere. You are not alone. By using these tips, you’ll have the power to smile and help others calm down.
Who is the author?
Leon Collier is a blogger at essay writing service UK from Edinburgh, who loves to write about everything: pop-culture, history, travel, self-development, education, marketing. When not writing, you can find him behind a book or playing tabletop games with his friends. Follow him on Twitter @LeonCollier12.