With everything going on in the world, it may seem like life has stopped, but now is the time to change perspective and keep moving. As we deal with COVID-19, small changes in life can improve coronavirus anxiety.
Even on the best of days, our emotional-well being was challenged, whether we realized it or not, however, what kept us going was our daily routine. Right now, with our routines being completely disrupted, it’s perfectly normal to feel lost.
The uncertainty surrounding the novel coronavirus is taking a toll on people’s mental health. Presently, the overblown coverage of coronavirus across news & social media channels is instigating fear and panic. Be it Instagram, WhatsApp, or LinkedIn, everyone’s news feeds are filled with coronavirus updates. So at this given point of time, it is very important to make small changes in life to improve your mental health and overall well being.
Stress Vs. Anxiety: How To Tell the Difference?
Every individual is bound to experience either stress or anxiety at some given time in their life. Often in conversations, stress & anxiety are used as synonyms, when they are two different medical diagnoses. Pattee (2020) defines “Stress is a physiological response connected to an external event”. The American Psychological Association (2020) defines anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure”. Essentially, in layman terms, stress affects your body while anxiety affects your mind and body.
In the U.S. itself, each year, nearly 40 million people are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder (Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 2020). Despite being a widespread illness, several people are unaware of anxiety & its symptoms.
Even though anxiety disorder is a more chronic mental illness, research shows that occasional anxiety is an exceptional part of life (NIMH, 2020). According to NIMH, it is very common to feel anxious when faced with unforeseen and uncontrollable conditions. So, if you are like most people, uncertainty may cause tremendous anxiety as the brain constantly tries to keep us out of harm’s way. Essentially, in the name of survival, most human beings suffer anxiety as they tend to assume the worst-case scenarios (Pattee, 2020).
4 Simple Ways To Deal With Stress & Coronavirus Anxiety
Living amidst a worldwide pandemic is scary. We are all worried about our loved ones and our future. Even though some of us are unaffected, the news has us worried about “What’s going to happen next?”. So, instead of spiralling into overwhelming dread and panic, it’s important to remain level-headed and sensible.
Try to Eliminate Everything that is Causing Stress. Pay attention to your body and follow a few steps that might relieve your coronavirus anxiety:
1. Awareness is Okay, but Obsession is Not!
Whether we like it or not, the coronavirus is here. It’s important to stay informed and follow all the guidelines given by the WHO. However, obsessing over the news can cause more harm than good. News & social media updates can elevate fear amongst many. So observe your reactions and monitor your news intake to control your coronavirus anxiety.
2. Stay Connected- Talk to People!
Distancing does not necessarily have to lead to loneliness! Use our video-conferencing application TelebuJoin to stay in touch with your loved ones. Don’t worry the virus does not spread through video calls.
3. Self-care – Slow down & Take a breather
In these surreal times, stop focusing on the uncontrollable events and start focusing on yourself, your space and your family (both human & furry). Look around, use your senses and observe the positives of this situation.
See- With aeroplanes grounded, traffic stopped and factories shut, our skies are clearer than before. So go to your balcony or terrace and appreciate the beautiful blue skies. But make sure you follow social distancing.
Hear- For the first time in years, when you open your window you will finally be able to listen to the birds singing, the bees buzzing, the wind blowing and the leaves rumpling. Take it all in and live in the moment.
Smell- With our busy schedules, we often never appreciated the simple things in life. Just take some time to appreciate the smell of the flowers, the home-cooked meal or the candle in your room.
Taste- Rely on some good food and drinks to get through this situation. Try the recipes that you have never had the time for. Let some home cooking do you some good – and hey, you can even make junk food at home!
4. Most Importantly, Find Ways to Stay Busy!
As the popular saying goes “An Idle Mind Is A Devil’s Workshop”. There are plenty of resources out there that might help you deal with your coronavirus anxiety. So, stop overthinking and focus on finding a new routine. Set an alarm, wake up & get dressed like usual. Start a work & exercise routine. All in all, just keep yourself busy and improve your psychological resilience.
With our routines being completely disrupted, it’s perfectly normal to feel lost. With the spread of COVID-19, just remember that the entire world is trying to adjust to this new normal and the varied feelings that come with it.
We have so far survived wars, nuclear disasters, pandemics, and natural disasters, so just hang in there and remember what Ada Adams said, “There is a light at the end of every tunnel. Some tunnels just happen to be longer than others.”