Coping with Coronavirus Anxiety

Coping with Coronavirus Anxiety

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Sydney Gulliver, Contributor

While we are in the midst of a world pandemic, it is completely normal to have anxiety about it. Some of us are in areas already affected, some will worry about loved ones, and others will be stressed over what’s to come. Some find themselves constantly refreshing news articles just waiting for the worst to happen. For many, the uncertainty and fear surrounding coronavirus is the hardest to manage. But there are multiple tactics we can utilize to manage our anxiety and fear at this moment in time.

  1. Get your information from reliable sources. There is a lot of misinformation about the coronavirus going around and you should be informed with the right details, reading from conflicting news outlets will lead to more stress and anxiety. Use dependable sites like the CDC, World Health Organization, and your local news sites. Some local news sites may include The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, and The Telegram. Most importantly, do not constantly refresh and look for more updates. Constantly monitoring sites can fuel your anxiety rather than ease it. As HelpGuide.org says, “The limit is different for everyone, so pay attention to how you’re feeling and adjust accordingly.” Share information from reliable sources and be careful to not spread false information about it yourself, increasing the anxiety of others.
  2. Focus on the things you can control. These can be precautions like washing your hands for 20 seconds minimum with soap and water, only using sanitizer with 60% alcohol, avoiding touching your face, social distancing, going out only if it’s absolutely essential, and staying away from groups of 10 or more. When going out for essentials, properly protect yourself with masks, gloves, and washing your hands and your items when getting home. 
  3. Keep in contact with loved ones. While still following social distancing protocols, checking up on loved ones you cannot see during this time is very important.  Dr. Sullivan, a clinical psychologist, says that “Fear and isolation can lead to depression and anxiety. We need to make a point to connect with others regularly.” It is so important to reach out to others during this time. Do not isolate yourself. 
  4. Take care of yourself. Exercise, eat healthy, nutritious foods, sleep well, and take a break for yourself. Although gyms are closed, you can do at-home workouts to keep yourself healthy. Eat well and sleep the recommended number of hours. Lack of sleep can amplify any occurring stress, so you should focus on getting the rest you need to manage your anxiety. Unwind by playing games, tackling a new project, or reading a book. 

It is important to remember that it is natural and normal to feel stress and anxiety during these times, but that it is also crucial to managing it. If you follow these key steps you will find your anxiety decrease.