It’s hard not to worry about the coronavirus — not when you’re at its epicenter. New York is one of the worst hit cities across the U.S, and unsurprisingly, there are lots of anxious residents, not only in Huntington, but all across the country. If you happen to be one of them, the pointers below will help you manage your anxiety.
Accept this reality
This might be hard, but clinical psychologist Dr. Michelle Moore recommends accepting the reality of the situation and how it is largely out of your control. What you can control, though, is your understanding of this virus and its severity. With that knowledge, you can then take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe, and at the same time, try to live a semblance of a life too. You can do that by taking things one day at a time; listen to music, exercise, or even take up a new hobby.
Check the news, but not too much
Yes, it is important to stay informed, but therapist Shala Nicely advises against being glued to the news. That’s because checking the news too much will often lead to you ruminating or rehashing whatever information you already have. This, unfortunately, just feeds your anxiety. Having said that, it’s on you to determine how frequently you check the news without getting overwhelmed and anxious. In some cases, not checking the news at all might be the best option.
Everyone is advised to stay at home, as it’s a good way to curb the spread of this pandemic. But as a Parsley Health guide to coping with coronavirus anxiety notes, now is a great time to be “isolated without needing to feel isolated.” Given the wonders of technology, you’ll get to stay at home while staying connected to those that matter to you. Try video conferencing platforms like Google Hangouts or FaceTime, or play some online games with friends. Remember: Loneliness worsens anxiety, so it’s imperative that you find ways to still keep your social connections going.
Cut yourself some slack
It is also important to cut yourself some slack. You are, after all, living in uncertain and unprecedented times. As a Vox feature on anxiety management points out, getting anxious is “an inevitable part of life.” So, don’t view anxiety as something to conquer. Rather, look at it as something to acknowledge and manage. With that in mind, remember that you are bound to have some bad days when nothing seems to work. If you’re in the midst of such a day, tell yourself that it’s okay — that it’s alright to feel worried, fearful, and overwhelmed. Finally, if possible, steer clear of people with the same feelings. That’s because you might be ultra-sensitive to others’ anxiety, and are, therefore, likely to pick up their anxieties as your own.
Now, as you deal with your coronavirus-induced anxieties, make sure, too, that you stay proactive in terms of keeping yourself healthy. That means washing your hands frequently, sanitizing everything, and staying home as much as possible. On that note, it is true that these are scary times, but you can push past these uncertainties by taking care of yourself and your mental health.