The unknown aspect of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is making a number of people anxious. Some amount of anxiety is normal and can help to keep us safe but it’s important to keep it at a manageable level. Here are 7 tips to manage anxiety related to Coronavirus.
It’s normal to feel anxious when faced with a public health emergency, particularly one that’s on the news regularly even after almost a year.
A little bit of anxiety is likely not a bad thing as it makes us conscious of the decisions we’re making when it comes to our health. It also encourages us to be prepared. But when anxiety is disproportionate to the risk or begins to affect our ability to function it becomes problematic. So, how can we manage anxiety associated with an outbreak such as coronavirus?
Tips to Manage Anxiety about Coronavirus
Educate yourself. On what the virus is, what the signs and symptoms are and the preventative measures.
Keep Perspective. Though it is important to stay informed it is also important to keep perspective. Do not spend too much time checking the news channels. Remember to also spend time on other important and positive things in your life. Consider engaging in a daily gratitude practice, if you haven’t already. Dr. Joti Samra provides some tips on maintaining an attitude of gratitude in the era of COVID-19.
Take precautions. Once you’ve determined what the recommended precautions are, incorporate those into your regular routine. Right now, the recommendations are typical flu protocols, as well as engaging in social distancing and wearing a mask in public:
wash your hands regularly with soap and water;
stay home if you feel sick;
avoid those who are presenting with flu-like symptoms; and,
maintain regular health routines like sleeping enough, eating healthy and exercising.
Stay connected. Having a support network of people to talk to when you’re feeling anxious can help to keep you grounded and remind you to keep the perspective you need.
Use your coping skills. If you experience anxiety in other areas of your life remember to engage in the practices that help manage your anxiety levels, for example, engaging in regular mindfulness practice.
Seek extra help. If you’re still struggling with your anxiety or experiencing panic that is affecting your ability to maintain your regular activities, you may consider seeking additional support. For in-office or virtual counselling therapy, see Dr. Joti Samra, R.Psych & Associates.
Remember that outbreaks like this happen from time to time, and many organizations are working toward getting the newly developed vaccine to Canadians. Together we can get through this if we continue to stay vigilant and follow public health orders.