As the new coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold its implications to all territories with a rising number of deaths worldwide, it’s normal to feel anxious.
All the information is spinning around the COVID-19 outbreak and life is changing for all of us. The social distancing, self-quarantine and lockdown – such terms has made people stay home and hence safe during this epidemic.
However, many of us experience a range of thoughts and feelings like worried, panic, lonely, frustrated or stressed in this challenging time.
Statistics of a number of cases and deaths are changing so rapidly that they are overwhelming and even scary. Though, all of these are understandable as there is a loss of life and disruption in a daily lifestyle.
But, know that holding on fear and stress will surely be not helpful in this tough time. Stress can weaken our immune system which is totally opposite of what we need right now.
In fact, keeping your mind, body and spirit calm and relax can help your overall wellbeing and enable you to take conscious and effective actions amidst the global crisis.
If you struggle the same, here are some ways to improve your mental health and push-back the coronavirus anxiety and fears:
Acknowledge your feelings
See, it’s ok to have these feelings right now as it’s a frightening phase and we all are together in the middle of an outbreak where whole countries are shutting down.
However, instead of ignoring or running from your feelings, learn to acknowledge and deal with them in a healthy manner.
The first step to beat anxiety is to recognize it. Once we do that, we can reach to its root source and take back our control. While avoiding the stress emotions always backfires and puts you in a worse mood.
Jot down your worries or talk with a person you trust about your concern. Even mindful meditation is also a good start.
By this, you will start getting a clear and broader picture of your thoughts. This will make it easier for you to look for what’s in your control and not go mad over overwhelming.
Moreover, put the pandemic in different perspectives like finally, you got time for a new hobby or family from a busy life.
Tell yourself, “This is not forever. This too shall pass.”.
Focus on what you can control
Frankly, while we’re in between the hefty situation, there’s not much we can do about what’s happening around.
You must accept the fact that many things are not in our hands. You don’t know how long this pandemic lasts and how far it will affect the world.
However, many of us start looking at news and internet sources to find out the solution for our queries, which in turn, leaves you more stressed and drained.
So, the best you can do is, focus on what you can control. Make a list of steps you can take to protect yourself from coronavirus.
Do your best to strictly obey the health precautions for example, washing hands with soap, sanitizing, the social distancing of at least 3 feet, good sleep, etc.
Few circumstances are not in our control, but precautions are.
Stay connected (of course, virtually!)
CDC suggests that social distancing is the best mode to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The reason is, an infected person, with no symptoms and looks healthy can still spread the virus.
Though, as humans are social animals, being in house arrest also brings loneliness and tends to raise your anxiety and depression more.
Therefore, reach out to your people if can’t meet them physically. Stay in touch with your friends and family via phone calls, video calls, chat or social media.
Spending time and creating a strong bond with anyone matters to you can give you a sense of comfort and support.
Talk to the people with whom you naturally feel positive vibes. And, if you see someone contributing your anxiety, feel free to mute them too.
Furthermore, it is essential to not engage in coronavirus conversations. Share some enjoyable laughs and stories and you will be happy inside!
Remember, the term is social distancing, not disconnection.
Limit how often you check updates
Panic arises when people obsessively check the news about the outbreak. In fact, there is no compulsion to stay tuned 24/7.
I agree it’s vital to stay informed and be prepared for safety cautions. But, a lot of misinformation is already spreading that might threaten you.
Also, constantly checking out on every little detail can unnecessarily exacerbate fear and worries.
Hence, rather than sticking to news updates and social media feeds, limit how often you check updates on the virus. I prefer to take just 30 minutes a day for it.
Moreover, if you feel overwhelmed or exhausted, better to take a break between days. Stick to trustworthy sources such as CDC, WHO or any official health authorities at your place.
Be careful of what you see and share. It can be false information and we all are in favor of stopping rumors, right?
Pick a self-care routine
Looking at the current scenario, having a good and healthy self-care routine is important for our overall wellbeing. As well said, “If you cannot go outside, go inside.”.
Look after yourself. If possible, prepare your daily-routine plan and act accordingly. Indulge in hobbies or activities you enjoy and reveals positive emotions in you.
Here, the purpose is to relax your mind and body and lead you to a healthy way of living so you have a strong immune system which is vital to fight the virus.
Stress and poor sleep can weaken our immunity and make us more vulnerable to coronavirus infection.
So, Take care of yourself!
Have some relaxing time
A classic method to trick your mind from anxiety is to consciously add fun activities to your day. Don’t let your emotions drain you in a negative loop.
Yes, your mind will tell you to not do anything at the moment, but don’t fall into the trap. Remember, you have the chance right now to invest in the things you were thinking of doing for a long time.
Maybe you like to read a good book, play indoor games or watch your favorite comedy show. Try a new recipe, create a craft, do painting or something creative you usually enjoy.
Even, there are lots of free courses and videos available online to learn from your home itself. This will help a mind to distract from worries and involve in things that make you happy.
However, doesn’t matter what you do, since it makes you relax, it’s worth doing!
Do volunteer Help
While it’s easy to get nabbed by your own concerns and fears, showing care towards the people in need can be crucial in challenging times like this.
Doing a kind and volunteer help to others not only makes difference to their lives but also makes you feel satisfied, happy and purposeful.
Where the entire world is fighting with coronavirus and facing so many mental and physical stresses, your little act of kindness can turn their corners of mouth into big smiles.
Even though you’re maintaining social distancing, helping others is still possible. For example, sending a cheer message, donate for the cause, pack and deliver a meal to the needy or helping elderly neighbor with groceries or prescriptions.
Freaky Thought’s upshot
We all are together in the midst of coronavirus pandemic where everybody is like, “what’s going to happen next?”.
In such a period, it is obvious to feel anxious and depressed. Though, following the above sensible steps will help you to manage stress and be conscious of what you can do.
Appreciate those who are going out for you – all the medical staff, workers and cleaning people and other associates.
Manage to be calm and happy at home. If you still find it difficult to beat anxiety, take a virtual help.
But, please stay home and safe!