Almost everyone is unusually anxious because of COVID-19. However, being in a constant state of anxiety and stress will not do you any good. After all, stress is known to affect our immune system.
So, what should we do? We can try coping with anxiety and building mental resilience by turning to psychology.
Be patient with yourself
We are facing a new normal. Before COVID-19, we relied on a sense of stability and a sense of certainty about the future. However, in times like this, it’s okay to be anxious, and the first step to coping with anxiety is being patient with yourself.
However, watch out that your anxiety doesn’t turn into sustained stress, which is detrimental to your health. Instead, identify the things that you can control. Practice self-care by adhering to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines: wash your hands frequently; maintain social distancing; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; and practice cough etiquette. If you have a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care as soon as possible.
Control your news diet
We are in uncharted territory, which is why we may feel helpless and anxious. More often than not, we turn to the news and social media platforms to seek information and maintain an illusion of control. However, consuming too much news or related content can lead to a vicious anxiety cycle.
We recommend controlling your news diet by identifying when to read or watch the news from reputable sources. This can be an hour once a day or twice a day. A schedule ensures that you get essential information. Remember that not every bit of news helps.
Build and nurture a community
Knowing that you are not alone (even if you’re sheltering in place alone) helps you cope with anxiety. A robust social network, whether this comprises the people you live with at home or a group that you meet virtually, will go a long way in helping you become mentally resilient.
Make time for reflection
Experts say that crises often bring significant societal changes. Setting aside time to process everything that’s happening is vital for your mental well-being. Reflection can mean a long conversation with a friend or a family member, or you can write in your journal. Whatever your chosen method of reflection is, make sure to do it regularly to avoid feeling emotionally overwhelmed.
How are you doing today? If you feel that you need to talk to a professional therapist, know that you can speak with psychologists online. If you have an existing therapist, talk to him or her about setting up regular video calls to check-in.