6 Ways to Help You Cope with Coronavirus Anxiety
By: Deon Ambersley, MSW, RSW
We are now in the fourth week of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and there is still no clear answer as to when this will end. Typically, things become more certain with time, but in this situation, we are all in unchartered territory. This can have many feeling displaced from their lives. As we continue to face this virus, here are 6 tips to help you cope with Coronavirus anxiety and get through this time.
Develop a Routine
Being quarantined can make it very tempting to let go of routines. People who normally schedule their day by the minute are now faced with an abundance of time and very little variety with what to do with it. However, maintaining a routine may help in feeling more productive and less hopeless as the days go on. Going to bed, waking up, meditating, eating healthy, exercising and participating in other daily
activities at a specific time may leave you feeling more purposeful and productive. It is also an effective form of self-care. Find time to exercise, eat and separate your duties at work from your home life by creating a schedule or routine that you look forward to.
Monitor What You Consume
Things are very uncertain right now, and this can leave people feeling overwhelmed; particularly those who struggle with anxiety. It doesn’t help that the pandemic seems to be the only thing people are talking about — and not in the most positive way. Putting yourself on a mental diet may assist in managing feelings of overwhelm. Allocate a certain amount of time to watch the news or speak about the pandemic. If you find yourself scrolling through social media, try focusing on news that is hopeful. Stories of people singing from their balconies, neighbours helping each other and businesses changing their production to contribute to the cause.
If you want a healthy body, you need to feed it nutritious food. The same goes for what happens in the mind. Try to feed your mind with as much positivity where possible.
Allow Yourself to Feel What You Feel
There may be a number of different feelings you are experiencing right now. Know that they are all okay. Feelings of uncertainty, sadness, fear and even anger can arise. Depending on your circumstances, you can find yourself in a sea of emotions. This is okay, and actually very healthy. However, what you don’t want is to be consumed by these feelings. Allow yourself to feel what you feel, but also find ways to let them go. Some people journal, talk to family or friends, connect with professionals or meditate to deal with unpleasant feelings. If you find this is something coming up for you, think about ways in which you can offload.
Social Distancing Doesn’t Have to Mean Social Isolation
Lucky for us, we are in a time where there are many means of communication. Whether it be through email, video chat, social media or the good old phone, there are many ways to connect. If you are feeling alone and isolated, try to reach out. Speaking to friends and family on a daily basis can help. Additionally, there are so many ways to connect with people all over the world now; try your best to connect.
Alternatively, if you know someone who lives alone and is isolated, reaching out to see how they are doing can make the world of a difference in these trying times.
If you require support to deal with feelings of depression and anxiety, seeking help from a professional is a good decision.
Use the Time to Do Those Things You May Have Been Putting Off
With our busy lives, it is often hard to find the time to do the things we love. Additionally, it can be hard to find the time to do the things we really need to do. If there are tasks which you’ve been putting off,
now is the time to get them done. There are probably books, hobbies, and projects which have been taking the back seat, but can now finally be brought to the forefront.
Do Your Part
If we are going to get through this pandemic quickly, we must all do our part. This means, following the advice of health officials to maintain social distance, and most importantly staying home. Feeling like you’ve contributed to something has a positive effect on self-esteem and mental health. Knowing that
you are doing your part reframes the experience from being one of inconvenience to social
~Deon Ambersley, MSW, RSW