It’s a tough time for everyone right now with the Coronavirus Pandemic, especially for those with health-related anxiety. Mass media continues to spread panic, and it’s triggering a lot of anxiety for everyone. High levels of stress can actually weaken your body’s ability to fight off infection, so it’s important to take steps that will alleviate this anxiety. There are plenty of things you can do to help get rid of that anxiety, and move through this pandemic with a realistic, but hopeful viewpoint. Here are a few ways to help you remain calm and collected throughout the virus’s lifespan:
1. Wash your hands & take Vitamin C supplements! It sounds silly, but taking care of yourself and your health is a great way to calm some anxiety. When you know you’re doing everything you can to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, you’re more likely to feel prepared and protected.
2. Stay connected with loved ones via FaceTime, social media, phone calls, or texts. It’s important to keep in contact with friends and family in tough times so you feel supported and you know you’re not alone. Feeling the strength of your connections with loved ones through the phone will help you combat the loneliness that may come with social distancing or self-quarantining. Also, checking in on everyone will reassure you that they’re doing okay as well, which will result in less worry about your loved ones.
3. Choose a few credible news sources to get your information from, and stick to those. Without accurate information, it’s easy to get anxious about what we hear and read. Reading fear-mongering news articles will only make you feel like the situation is worse than it is, and will only increase anxiety. Some great sources for information include the CDC, the US Food and Drug Administration, and the World Health Organization. Don’t overdose on misinformation and get yourself worried about something that may not actually be true! When you read an article that claims something scary, try to fact-check it with other sources.
4. Acknowledge when you are feeling anxious. Some signs of anxiety include a rapid heart rate, sweaty palms, shallow breath, shakiness, trouble concentrating, nervousness, and difficulty sleeping. Simply notice these feelings, and try not to judge yourself for having them. When you’re able to recognize these symptoms and that you’re feeling anxious, you’re then able to take steps to reduce that anxiety. Some things that can help reduce anxiety include eating healthy, taking deep breaths, and exercise. Which brings me to my next point…
5. Keep your mind active. Try to work out in your home, read a book, or do a hobby. Not only do these things naturally reduce anxiety, but you’ll also enjoy taking your mind off the virus and shifting your attention to something else. Simply sitting and ruminating on your worries will only make you feel worse, so anything you’re able to do that captures your attention will definitely help you feel better.
6. Question your thoughts. Your thoughts are not facts. When you get an anxious thought like, “Oh my gosh, I just touched my face and now I’m going to get sick!”, try to debunk that thought. Think about how many times you’ve touched your face and not gotten sick, or remind yourself that you just washed your hands a few minutes ago. Taking a moment to pause and think hard about what you’re thinking will surely help to calm down racing, anxious thoughts.
7. Try some meditation or mindfulness techniques. Not knowing what the future holds is a great source of Coronavirus anxiety. So, to combat this, focus on the present moment. Both meditation and mindfulness encourage you to notice what is happening and what you’re feeling in the present moment, without any judgement. There are some great guided meditations at Headspace or Calm.
Stay healthy my friends, and try not to worry too much! You can make it through this, I promise!
Thanks for reading,