5 Tips for Managing Your Anxiety During the Corona Pandemic
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A few evenings ago, I noticed that I had developed a little sniffle. Not only that, my throat was feeling somewhat ticklish. I consulted family members in a panic, writing to them, “What do you think? Am I coming down with IT?!” “No,” they told me, “it’s your allergies acting up again!” Nevertheless, I did measure my temperature before retiring for the night. Below normal. Only then did I feel totally calm again. This is because we are all so sensitive to the topic of the day—the spread of Covid-19—that our anxiety levels produce over-the-top responses to everyday occurrences.
The good news is that we can all work on successfully reducing our levels of anxiety around this insidious virus. Let’s take a look at some successful coping mechanisms.
1. Know that we are all in this together
One thing we can be sure about, each and every one of us is suffering from varying degrees of anxiety and worry. This is totally normal under these circumstances, and although we don’t wish this on others, it’s good to know that we are in this together. We are all fighting the same enemy, and at the end of the day, we are going to win this battle.
2. Try to avoid doomsayers and newspaper headlines
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A month ago, I could not imagine pulling myself away from news headlines every half an hour or so. But I have accomplished this! I also try not to communicate with those who are glued to their smartphones all day, sharing doom and gloom. Instead, I talk to friends and family who I know are trying to make the best of things. I do ask my husband for a summary every now and then. After all, total avoidance of the topic is also not healthy. There is something frightening happening in our world. I don’t deny this to myself, but on the other hand, I don’t need to obsessively follow every detail, every 30 minutes.
3. Take a 10-minute worry break every day
Set aside a specific time to meet your anxieties once a day. Then, when something triggers your worries during the day or night, tell yourself that you will address the issue at the time you have chosen. When the allotted time arrives, make yourself comfortable in your favorite chair, and engage your mind with the details of your anxieties about Corona. If you wish, make notes, but this is not necessary. The main purpose is to air your anxieties and meet them head on. If you can resolve any of your worries, that’s great, but if not, that’s okay too. After ten minutes, conclude your worrying session, and move on. Return to it the next day, at the same time, if needed.
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Many of you are missing your gym, your pool, or your daily walk. Many forms of exercise can be enjoyed in your own home. Turn your home into a fitness club for you and your family. YouTube offers many fitness programs catering to beginners and seniors if you are not used to exercising. Try walking (yes, you can walk miles in your living-room), aerobics, HIIT, strength training, yoga, zoomba, dance, and much more. Begin your day with a 10-minute, half-hour, or full hour exercise class, and let those endorphins keep you going for hours!
5. Understand logarithms and lockdowns
You would need a Ph.D. to make sense of Corona statistics. The numbers that we do get to see make no sense because many people with suspected cases of the virus have not been tested. Looking at things very simplistically, however, one does typically notice a sudden rise in cases, where positive Corona results seem to be “blossoming”. This seems very disheartening. However, we can view these results in a different way. It means that we are getting there! The “curve will soon begin to flatten”. Take note, however, that this will only happen if we take all health advisory rules and regulations very seriously. Lockdowns, as exasperating as they are, are keeping people at home, and keeping them safe. Use Zoom, other visual communication programs, and good old Ma Bell to stay in touch with your loved ones.
It is important to remember that this crisis will end, bringing us to a new era, with a bright and promising future. Meanwhile, it is important to stay safe and take precautions like washing your hands regularly. Follow the steps discussed in this article to remain calm during these difficult times and remember this too shall pass.
Author Bio: This article was written by Conor O’Flynn of O’Flynn Medical who are providing hospital beds to healthcare facilities affected by this crisis. Conor has seen first hand the panic Covid-19 has causedin both healthcare staff and the public.