Got anxiety about the corona virus pandemic? Here are 3 steps to take to keep your calm
By: Iten Elyassaki, Licensed Professional Counselor
Now, it seems like everywhere you look, there is news about the novel coronavirus. Cases are being confirmed all over the world and new countries are being added to the list of locations having confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Your daily social media feeds are populated with headlines about the coronavirus outbreak and the rise of death tolls.
Everyone around you is talking about it, inducing panic. So what can you do to reclaim your calm?
Here are 3 steps to help you cope with coronavirus anxiety and the possibility of an outbreak.
Partake in preventative actions from Coronavirus
Since there is no vaccine to treat or prevent the coronavirus, the best way to avoid getting sick is to follow the Center for disease control and prevention’s preventative action recommendations:
- Wash your hands, use sanitizer and avoid touching your face. Especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Adhere to respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette. Cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze and use disinfectant accordingly to disinfect frequently touched shared surfaces.
- Avoid close contact with people who show signs of sickness. Try to keep at least 6 feet distance between you and others.
- Avoid crowded places to limit exposure
- Stay home if you are sick and wear a facemask to help prevent the spread of germs.
These preventative actions will help you regain control to minimize your chances of getting this virus in hopes to decrease your anxiety.
Keep calm and practice mindfulness to manage coronavirus anxiety
It is important to practice being in the present moment because it is easy to get lost thinking about the unknown. Watching and reading too much news can become problematic.
Your mind starts to wander off and imagine the worst-case scenarios. It is best to limit media exposure and stick with one or two trusted sources. What you should know is this is a normal survival tactic.
Your mind is preparing for the worst so if it was to happen it is not unfamiliar. But, what that does is, it increases the level of anxiety and stress leaving you vulnerable to the situation.
Here’s the catch, stress can reduce your immune system’s response making you prone to illness. So the more you stress, the more you put yourself at risk of infection.
So, if you catch your self thinking too much about the outbreak and it’s causing you distress, its time to disconnect from the “what ifs” and practice bringing yourself back to the present moment. Remember to breathe… clean air of course.
Take care of yourself
This is an essential time to make sure you are taking good care of yourself. You have probably heard this before, eating a healthy diet, getting proper sleep and exercise leads to better mental functioning and a stronger immune system.
Eating a healthy diet rich with vitamin C, fruits and vegetables can help boost your immunity.
Make sure to give your body and mind the nutrition it needs to thrive.
Daily exercise can help promote feelings of wellness, improve blood circulation and lower the risk of chronic conditions.
Lastly, getting proper sleep gives your body the needed rest to naturally heal itself, regenerate and recover from the daily hassles.
These are all evidence-based practices to enhance your psychological well-being and overall wellness during these times of uncertainty.
Also, keep in mind currently the flu is showing much more of an impact on Americans than the novel Coronavirus.
So there you have it, partaking in preventative actions, practicing mindfulness and taking care of yourself is guaranteed to help you get your anxiety under control.