Coronavirus: Managing Anxiety

Managing Anxiety & Engaging in Self-Care in the Era of the Coronavirus

In another space and context, Thomas Paine referred to “the times that try men’s souls.” Today, in the year 2020, we are living in another such time as we navigate through these turbulent and uncharted waters. As we do so, please keep these facts in mind.

Anxiety, worry, and fear in the face of a global pandemic is a natural reaction. Individuals may feel nervous, on edge, unease due to the uncertainties of the situation. Life, as we know it, has been upended and interrupted. We must now bravely face the task of establishing a new norm. There are steps that we must take to effectively manage our emotional and psychological well-being.

An important step involves identifying a reliable news source so that we can stay informed about COVID-19. Information is ever changing as health officials acquire more knowledge. Anxiety, worry, and fear may be lessened with fact-based knowledge that facilitates preparation. We must face the threats directly while not exaggerating them. Our responses should be based in reality. For example, stocking up on household goods for a specified period of time is responsible. However, panic buying is not a healthy reaction.

Another step involves engaging in self-care, a prescription for facilitating well-being that is unique to each individual. Suggested actions include:

  1. Stay connected. Join an online support group or talk with friends and family regularly by phone or FaceTime.
  2. Create a journal to express your thoughts and feelings.
  3. Listen to music. It is therapeutic.
  4. Seek spiritual comfort such as an online faith community.
  5. Feel free to cry since you are mourning a loss.
  6. Find something to laugh about every day: watch a sitcom or your favorite comedian.
  7. Provide yourself with rewards.
  8. Cook your favorite meals and maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet
  9. Exercise for physical and psychological benefits.
  10. Maintain positivity. There is always hope.
  11. Refrain from news for periods of time to allow for stress-free zones.
  12. Remain calm through prayer, meditation, and mindfulness.
  13. Retain control of all aspects of your life that are within your power. For example, you can control social distancing, use of hand sanitizer, and washing your hands.

Finally, you may find the below apps and websites helpful in your quest to manage anxiety and engage in self-care.

Phone Apps for mental health:

  1. Headspace (Everyday guide to health and happiness. Learn the life changing skills of meditation and mindfulness in just a few minutes a day through hundreds of guided sessions on everything from managing stress and anxiety to sleep, productivity, exercise, and physical health.) Improve your relationship with yourself and others.
  2. MindShift (a great tool for anxiety available on Iphone and Android, developed by Anxiety BC. It teaches relaxation skills, develops new thinking, and suggests healthy activities. Designed for youth but useful to anyone.
  3. Relax and Sleep Well with Glenn Harold (20-minute guided meditation with music to help you fall asleep. Relaxing and gentle.

Caring for Your Anxiety

Stay safe and be well.

The Team of Counseling Services