Coronavirus Anxiety – How to Stay Sane During These Difficult Times?

Most of us had a plan of how they wanted 2020 to be for themselves and their family. And we understand that some part of it stands ruined as of now. 

Today, we stand amidst a worldwide pandemic, which has caused countries to shut down, gasping for life, and begging for help. Apart from the physical health issues that the world is now facing, it has caused coronavirus anxiety issues amongst one and all.

Coronavirus anxiety

The uncertainty of the situation is the primary reason for stress that people are feeling during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The world has faced several virus outbreaks, and some of them were far more vicious, but coronavirus seems different.  We don’t know where it will end and how it will impact our lives in the long term. 

It, therefore, becomes imperative that we, in such a precarious situation, hold our ground firmly and do not let COVID-19 impact our mental health. 

In today’s article, we delve on some of the crucial tips that can help you manage your coronavirus anxiety efficiently. Let’s get started.

Understand what triggers your anxiety

With the growing number of infected cases and a sharp rise in the number of deaths due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a large number of people around the globe are suffering from anxiety disorders. 

Hence, it is essential to first understand what triggers it and how to ensure that we have it in control. 

Jud Brewer, a neuroscientist and a professor at Brown University, exclaims that the feeling of being powerless can lead to either of the two responses, defeatist one or a gain control approach.

The former feels like there is hardly anything that he can do to improve the situation, and that can lead to him feeling helpless and thereby panicking or going into depression. 

The latter thinks that he ought to do something for his surroundings to make it better, but upon finding that there is not much they can do, it may be apocalyptic for them too. Eventually, it can lead them to suffer from lockdown anxiety. 

Either of these triggers can be catastrophic for you, and you need to slow down your thought process and induce some maturity to prevent any rash decision. 

Until and unless you curb your speed of thinking, it would be difficult for you to gain back control. 

Keep reading for some smart ideas that can help you sustain during these tough times.

Ideas to cope with coronavirus anxiety

1. It is essential to check the news, but do not overindulge

You must stay informed, but if you over-do, you may end up suffering from COVID stress. You can follow the prescribed precautions and play your part, and that will help in preventing the spread of the pandemic and keeping you safe. 

Also, it is important to understand that there are a lot of rumors in the air with people who are trying to benefit from it by causing fear.

To ensure that you do not fall prey to such foolishness, you must stick to trustworthy news sources. 

We know you’re addicted to checking information on various government websites and social media by now. 
By all means, do it to keep yourself updated but do not overindulge by checking it up multiple times a day and stay away for a few days if it makes you feel uncomfortable by any means. 

You can instead ask someone trustworthy to send over anything essential for you to know.

2. Focus on your surroundings and the things that are in your control

Every passing day, we see hundreds of deaths globally due to coronavirus, and that is shattering, to say the least. 

But there is only so much that we can do. 

We cannot control the outbreak or even how long it lasts. 

We cannot control its effect on our neighbors. It can lead you to feeling drained, helpless, and anxious.

In such a situation, it is necessary that we shift our focus to ourself and our surroundings. 

You cannot push Mr. X to follow the precautions, but you can do the following – 

  • Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds, at least with a bar of soap or a hand sanitizer containing 60 percent alcohol or more.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible. 
  • Do not be a part of a crowd.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, or any other part of your face.
  • Do not indulge in non-essential shopping or physical contact with outsiders.
  • Whenever you are out for some reason, ensure a distance of at least 7 feet from others.
  • Following other recommendations from the authorized health associates.

3. Plan for the times ahead

You must have come across people who do not plan for tomorrow. The coronavirus outbreak has changed it all. 

Seeing shops, schools, malls, and everything else closed for days on the go can be scary, but instead of letting the coronavirus anxiety seep in, all we can do is try to be proactive. 

To start with, you can jot down your specific worries and a list of solutions that can help you deal with them. 

If you do not see the perfect one, it would be better to find the most relevant one instead. After that, focus on things that you can solve and ignore those that are beyond your control.

Finally, draw a blueprint containing your plan of action and ensure that you go back to it whenever you feel lost.

4. Stay digitally close to the people you care 

People must understand that irrespective of their age, they can be a carrier of the COVID-19 and there can be times when they do so unknowingly. It is therefore essential that you must follow and preach social distancing.

That said, we are social beings, and it can be challenging to maintain a distance from your loved ones. 

Staying isolated for an extended period can have its repercussions, and it is only us who can find a solution to it. 

Work from home

Make it a priority to stay in touch with the people you care about and those who do the same for you. The best way to do it is indulging in regular online conversations with them, be it face-to-face or video calls. 

Use social media judiciously to not only overcome your fears but to help others in fighting theirs as well. Make sure that not every conversation revolves around the pandemic. It is important to keep laughing irrespective of how bad the scenario seems.

5. Brush up your skills or add something new to the kitty

Since our routine has taken a break during the lockdown, it is an excellent time to add value to ourselves. 

How do we do that? 

We can build on our existing skills or add some new skills altogether. It will also help you keep your anxiety at bay.

To promote such value-addition, Harvard is offering free courses across several categories, and you are free to choose as many as you can. 

Similarly, if you are interested in photography, Nikon is offering free access to its classes throughout April. 

These courses can be a useful indulgence for you while keeping yourself busy during this tumultuous period at the same time. If these don’t seem relevant to you, hundreds of webinars are taking place regularly, and some of them must definitely be for you!

6. Pay attention to your body

Keeping your body in shape is one of the best ways to stay stress-free. Here is how you can practice self-care effectively – 

  • Make a routine for yourself and ensure that you follow it. It should ideally include your sleep hours, meals, or work schedule, and everything else that matters.
  • Ensure that you are getting enough rest to reduce your anxiety issues.
  • Find ways to not self-isolate yourself.
  • Give yourself enough time to exercise; be it mental or physical.
  • When you feel stressed due to coronavirus anxiety, find ways to relax and de-stress. These could be fun games with the family, online games with friends, cooking, cleaning the house, etc.
  • Check out some wonderful online tutorials that teach you how you can give yourself a relaxing massage. Work on your tired feet, face, and legs and think of offering one to your family members who’re stuck indoors with you. 

7. Learn a new language

If you are a student or if you love to explore, a possible way to deal with your anxiety is to learn a new language. 

There are several courses that you can apply for, or you can also look into  some apps that can help you in this endeavor for free or for minimal charges.

8. Inculcate a new hobby

If you want to keep yourself stress-free, you must learn to find ways to remain engaged. 

One such subtle way is to get a new hobby. 

Since you cannot step out of your home, it can be something like reading e-books or learning to cook a distinct cuisine watching YouTube tutorial videos. 

Keeping the mind occupied in a creative hobby are very important stress busters in times of need. 

9. Meditate your way out of anxiety

Meditation is a great way to keep your mind in control. During these Coronavirus pandemic days, it can be a lifesaver. If you already know the tricks, you can start immediately. 

If not, there are several websites offering free sessions for you to indulge in it. 

Several Dubai gyms are hosting regular meetings inviting people from all over the globe to participate with them actively. Even yoga expert Barbra Whitfield is offering free meditation classes, and you can enroll right now.  

10. Count the positives

Finally, remind yourself of the good things that have happened in the last couple of months, even when everything seemingly has been falling apart!

Think of the positive effect that the lockdown has had on the environment and pollution scenarios around the world. Think of the time you’ve managed to spend with your family. Think of the reduced number of fatalities due to other incidences like accidents, mob fights, etc. 

Make sure you list down the positives and read them up every time you fall into a depression pit watching the grim situation around.

Final thoughts:

The coronavirus outbreak has taken a toll on everyone’s happiness and well-being. It has led to thousands of people experiencing anxiety and traumatic stress. Instead of panicking further, you must give yourself ample time to relax and recuperate. 

While doing so, if you feel the urge, stay away from media coverage of COVID-19, or indulge in things that make you happier.

Do not forget to follow the routine and be in constant touch with your loved ones. 

Remember, it is imperative to stay positive and united to fight and overcome the situation that we are going through. Do not feel bad for the mental state that you are in. What matters more is the steps you pursue to overcome it!

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