The outbreak of Coronavirus has caused a lot of fear, panic, and insecurity all over the world. Because of this pandemic, most of the world has been mandated to quarantine themselves inside their homes. The isolation coupled with the unsure future of the world and its state is causing a lot of stress and anxiety amongst people everywhere. It is indeed a frightening time, with cities and countries shutting down, some of us are bracing themselves for the worst.
“What is going to happen next?” is the question on everyone’s mind. The uncertainty of this catastrophe drives us all into overwhelming fear and anxiety of the things that are happening around the world. But do not let fear and anxiety cripple you as you can still do something amidst this crisis. Managing your anxiety is one of them.
How to Manage Your Anxiety
So what can you do to keep yourself from spiraling? First of all, avoid panicking, as the more you allow yourself to panic, the more anxious and illogical you will become. You can follow these tips on how you can deal with coronavirus-related anxieties so you don’t have to be overwhelmed. Here’s what you need to do:
Focus on what you can control
There are a lot of things that we cannot control, especially at a time like this. We don’t know when this crisis will end and how long it will take to develop a vaccine or cure. While this is a tough predicament we are all in, we can respond by focusing on the things we can control. You can take steps in reducing your own risk and exposure to it. Here’s how:
- You can wash your hands frequently with antibacterial soap and water. Hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol will work in a pinch.
- Staying at home as ordered by your city is a must. Do not go anywhere unless you absolutely need to. This will reduce your chances of coming in contact with the virus.
- Avoid touching your face, especially the eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid crowded places. Don’t mingle with people or participate in gatherings of 10 people or more.
- Keep your distance from others. Maintain a safe 6 feet of distance between you and other people so you are safe from any bodily fluids that can be dispersed through the air from coughing or sneezing.
- Get a good night’s sleep to strengthen your immune system.
- Always follow the recommendations from reputable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).
Stay informed but don’t drive yourself crazy
Checking the news during this time can be gut-wrenching, if not alarming. And of course, it is important to stay updated by keeping your eye on emerging information, particularly about what is happening in your community. This way you follow the safety precautions as instructed and do your part to help slow down the spread of coronavirus. However, you have to be careful about where you get your information, as there are plenty of fake reports being spread around. Take note of where you are getting your news from:
- Stick to trustworthy news sources like the WHO, CDC and your local public health authorities for information that is related to this crisis. Don’t automatically take everything you read or see at face value if it doesn’t come from a source of authority.
- Put a limit on how much time you spend watching and reading the news per day. Avoid constant monitoring of news, especially on social media.
- Step away from social media if you begin to feel anxious and overwhelmed. Try putting a time frame on your media updates so you can avoid seeing all alarming sensationalized updates online as they come in.
- Be careful of what you share on social media. Besides avoiding fake news, you must also avoid spreading fake news. Sharing information is good and can really help your friends and family out, but always make sure the source of the information is reputable and credible
Be prepared for if something goes wrong
Having a plan for your worst case scenarios is a good idea during this time. Being proactive can help relieve a lot of anxiety as you can feel more confident knowing what to do in the event of an emergency.
- Consider what you are going to do in the event that someone in your family were to get sick — either with the coronavirus, or simply just a common illness. Make sure that you have cold medicine and other remedies on hand so that you do not need to leave your house. Know what you need to do to prevent yourself and other family members from getting sick as well.
- Focus on the things you can solve rather than the circumstances that you cannot control.
- Write down your worries and how you can resolve it. Try to worry less as this can only worsen the situation we are in.
- Stock up, but don’t buy out the whole store. If you have the chance to go to the supermarket, buy the essentials. Store food if you have time and make sure that it’s enough to last around a month. Of course, be considerate of others too — DO NOT HOARD. Hoarding food or toilet paper is not the answer. Remain calm and buy only the things your family will need for ~30 days.
Engage in self-care
Many countries have instituted full or partial lockdowns, which means people will be spending a lot more time at home, potentially without a job. While being without a job is surely stressful, try to focus on taking care of yourself with the extra free time that you have. This is the time to really focus on doing things that make you happy. Whether that be arts and crafts, reading books, watching movies, getting enough sleep, exercise, taking baths, and just pampering yourself in whatever way you wish. Meditation or praying (if you are religious) can also help relieve anxiety. Do anything that allows your brain to switch focus for a while, and you will be a lot happier and less worried in the midst of this crisis.
Reconnect with people
To prevent yourself from feeling depressed from isolation, this is an ideal time to reconnect with people, friends and family. If you live with your family, spend time with them, play board games or card games, watch movies, talk about life, etc.
If you live alone, still try to talk to people as much as you can and don’t isolate yourself completely. Communication is easier these days thanks to the Internet and mobile phones, so give your friends and family a call ever so often and catch up.
Talk to a professional health care provider
If your anxiety is still there, reach out to mental healthcare providers. Trained health care professionals can help ease the feelings you are feeling. Many therapists and private services are offering video or phone sessions, so this is something worth looking into. Taking care of your mental health is especially important at a time like this, so don’t let it fall by the wayside.
It is normal to feel anxious about the ongoing situation around the world. Fearing something that we don’t entirely understand can be overwhelming. But if you follow the guidelines and precautions set up, you will remain safe. Be wise, stay considerate of your neighbors, and cooperate with healthcare providers.
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