In certain situations like pandemic, feeling anxious can help us avoid danger, and it's how we've evolved to keep ourselves safe. It's common to feel some anxiety during periods of change or uncertainty, even if you are not normally anxious.
The feeling of anxiety or worry during this time is completely normal. There are times when anxiety is helpful. During past pandemics, research has shown that people who worry are more likely to take action to keep the virus at bay, such as frequent hand washing, keeping safe distance and wearing masks.
The problem with anxiety, however, is that sometimes it is counterproductive. The following practical tips will help you cope with anxiety when you start to feel overwhelmed.
1. Take action by getting informed, planning, and preparing
Many of us feel anxious when we believe we don't have the capacity, skills, or ability to cope with events that feel out of our control. During times of great anxiety, we find ourselves imagining the worst-case scenarios vividly and in great detail.
Concentrate your attention on what's under your control instead of worrying about what's out of your control. Make sure you are informed about COVID-19 by selecting reliable sources. Take the advice of the government and make a plan about what you and your family will do if you have to be in isolation.
2. Avoid unhelpful media and misinformation
Continuous exposure to alarming, anxious-inducing stories leads us to believe that there is a reason to panic, and creates myths, rumours, misinformation, uncertainty, and anxiety. Reading and hearing about it makes it seem more terrifying, and the less time we have to divert our attention away from it.
If you can limit your exposure to media, news, and social media outlets that report on the Corona virus, you might be able to alleviate the panic.
3. Refrain from engaging in the behavior that fuel your anxiety
A number of actions, when performed frequently, can increase anxiety related to health and make one more sensitive to germs. Anxiety and panic can result from relying on the internet and focusing too much on bodily symptoms.
When you become aware of these behavior, understand how they affect your mood, and replace them with more helpful strategies, you can alleviate disproportionate feelings of anxiety.
4. Maintain focus on the present day
Concentrate on the here and now rather than the past or the future. Focus on the present and live each day as it arises.
5. Don't let negative thoughts control your decisions
Our beliefs don't always hold true just because we believe them. Take a step back when you notice yourself worrying a lot, and let your worries pass by without focusing too much on them.
6. Take care of your body
Make sure to get adequate sleep, exercise, eat healthily, and abstain from smoking, excessive drinking, and drug usage. These activities will help you stay mentally and physically healthy.
7. Communicate with others
When we connect with others who are supportive, it can make a huge difference when we share our worries with others. Make sure you stay connected to supportive people in your life so that you feel less isolated and alone. If you have not tried new ways of connecting before, you may have to do so now.
8. Show compassion, kindness, and generosity
Being able to help others can also enhance our own well being. Let's try our best to be kind and compassionate towards each other, since we are all in this together.
9. Breathe in deeply
You can calm yourself when you feel overwhelmed by taking a few slow, deep breaths. You can also try other things that relax you, such as taking a walk or listening to music.
10. Consult a professional if you feel you can't cope
You can ask for help if you need it. Seek professional guidance if you are feeling overwhelmed by anxiety. You can receive psychological therapy online, or remotely over the phone or video-conference, if you are unable to go to a clinic or have concerns about being isolated.
Generally, the anxiety will be temporary for most people, and will lessen over time, particularly once the virus is contained.