- Coronavirus anxiety has pushed people to hoard everything from toilet papers to sealed water bottles
- Just avoid reading, watching or listening to news that cause you to feel anxious, worried or distressed
- So, just relax, stay calm, avoid rumors and rely only on trusted news sources to beat anxiety and protect your mental health during this COVID-19 crisis
Too many flash news, fake news, and rumors on COVID-19 outbreak can trigger anxiety and affect the mental health of people living in all parts of the world. Hence, taking the necessary precautions to tame coronavirus anxiety could protect your overall mental health and wellbeing.
Worrying about catching an infectious disease, the coronavirus or otherwise, while taking care of your family, can be a stressful time. Nathaniel Van Kirk, PhD, Kathryn D. Boger, PhD, ABPP, and Marni J. Chanoff, MD, from McLean, shared ways to keep you and your family feeling mentally balanced and safe in your household during an uncertain time.
1. Stay Informed With Trusted Sources
"Given the onslaught of media coverage and information, it's important to make sure you are getting updates from reputable sources," said Nathaniel Van Kirk, PhD. Good sources include:
- Centers for Disease Control
- World Health Organization
- Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress
Kathryn D. Boger, PhD, ABPP, program director of the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program, explained that when it comes to anxiety and frightening situations, we can find ourselves in common thinking traps. To combat this, we can try to catch ourselves when we go down a path of unhelpful or extreme thinking.
3. Have a Plan
Marni J. Chanoff, MD, a psychiatrist at McLean Hospital, said, "Keep and rely on a list. This should include needed food supplies and medications, and health care professional and work contacts." Keep items on your list stocked and replenished, and your contacts updated. Enlist others in your networks in your plans. If you live alone, look to your support network to help you plan.
4. Name and Validate Emotions
Recognizing emotions in a frightening time is helpful for everyone. There are many adults who are concerned about the state of the coronavirus, both for themselves and for their loved ones, and "it's also important to be mindful of what we're modeling," Boger said. "Checking in on our own emotional states and taking steps to manage our emotions before talking to loved ones is important."
5. Take Care of Yourself
"You don't have to reinvent the wheel," Chanoff said. Sleep, nutritious eating, good hygiene, exercise, fresh air, connecting with peoplethese are the basics, and it's a good reminder that what's being recommended now is what we've been encouraged to do all the time. Managing our anxiety, said Boger, can also be done through activities such as mindfulness, cognitive coping, and breathing exercises.
The biggest takeaway of this health crisis, experts agree, is that we need to take care of ourselves. "Maintaining balance in daily life and not letting your day be consumed by the 'next headline,'" said Van Kirk, "is important to maintain perspective in the uncertainty of daily life."
- 5 Ways to Reduce Anxiety During the COVID-19 Outbreak - (https://www.mcleanhospital.org/news/5-ways-reduce-anxiety-during-covid-19-outbreak)
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Adeline Dorcas. "Simple 5 Ways to Fight Anxiety during COVID-19 Outbreak". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/simple-5-ways-to-fight-anxiety-during-covid-19-outbreak-193779-1.htm. (accessed May 25, 2022).
Adeline Dorcas. 2021. Simple 5 Ways to Fight Anxiety during COVID-19 Outbreak. Medindia, viewed May 25, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/simple-5-ways-to-fight-anxiety-during-covid-19-outbreak-193779-1.htm.