HOW TO FEEL LESS ANXIOUS AT HOME
- Do something you enjoy (like reading a book or rewatching your favorite TV show/movie)
- Call a friend or family member you haven't spoken to in awhile
- Exercise or do a physical activity (like meditation or yoga)
- Be mindful of negative chatter and social media intake
- Text SHARE to 741741 to get connected with Crisis Text Line
How to Cope With Anxiety About Coronavirus (COVID-19)
It’s terrifying to learn that an illness such as coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading across the globe. The early stages of a pandemic can be especially anxiety-provoking. During this time, you don’t know how widespread or deadly the illness is going to end up being. Feelings of fear, anxiety, sadness, and uncertainty are normal during a pandemic. Fortunately, being proactive about your mental health can help to keep both your mind and body stronger.
Ways to take care of yourself include:
- Reading the news from reliable sources (and take breaks from the news)
- Recognizing the things you can control, like having good hygiene
- Taking measures only if recommended by the CDC
- Practicing self-care
Ways to Manage Stress
The way you cope with stress can go a long way toward ensuring that you're taking helpful action in managing your mental health. Here are ways to help you ease anxiety surrounding coronavirus.
Read News From Trustworthy Sources
Avoid media outlets that build hype or dwell on things that can’t be controlled. Instead, turn to sources that give reliable information about how to protect yourself, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Develop An Action Plan
There are always some steps you can take to decrease risk. It may be as simple as washing your hands well and limiting travel. But recognizing these can remind you to focus on things you have control over. Just make sure the steps you’re taking are actions recommended by reputable sources.
Set Limits On Your Media Consumption
Tuning into media stories that talk about how fast an illness is spreading or how many people are getting sick will increase your anxiety. Limit your media consumption to a certain time frame or a certain number of articles.
Practice Good Self-Care
Eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of sleep, and engaging in leisure activities are always key to helping you stay as physically and psychologically healthy as possible during stressful times. Good self-care also keeps your immune system robust.
How Do I React?
You may witness people around you panicking. On the other hand, you may experience those don't seem concerned at all when a pandemic is on the rise, assured that it won't affect them. You may find yourself feeling all kinds of emotions—or maybe, you are confused and don't know how to feel.
Responding to the Unfamiliar
People tend to overreact to unknown threats as easily as they underreact to familiar threats. For instance, although car crashes are common, driving or riding in a car probably doesn’t feel scary since you most likely do it on a regular basis. Similarly, you might not be that afraid of the flu. After all, you’ve survived up until now by either beating the flu or avoiding it. Yet influenza sickens as much as 20% of the population in any given year, and thousands of people die from it.
But the vaccination rate for the flu in the United States is usually less than 50%—most people just aren’t afraid of it. The reverse is also true; what we know less about is more likely to make us nervous.
Being bombarded with news that constantly talks about death tolls, and reports that emphasize how many are sick, can cause people to overestimate the risks they face in contracting the illness. However, reliable sources of media can also have positive effects during a pandemic.
The media can be an ally in disseminating useful information. However, media can also fuel anxiety by continuously reporting on the spread of an illness like the coronavirus. Limit your news and media intake and be mindful of the source.
Adapted from verywellmind.com