Haley Neidich, a licensed psychotherapist, tells CNET that it is perfectly normal to experience anxiety and fear now. It's okay to feel what you're feeling in this day and age, but there are things you can do to calm your mind and reduce stress.
"My main concern about the panic is the stress it causes for each individual," Neidich says that when panic occurs, events are canceled and shelves are removed from the necessary items, which only further increases stress. "Stress and panic cause stress and panic," she continues. "Stress weakens our immune system, making us more susceptible to disease, which is the exact opposite of what we need now."
If you are struggling with fear, anxiety, or helplessness from the coronavirus, the tips below can lift you. If you find that stress is an obstacle to working, looking after your family or doing daily activities (such as cooking or showering), you should seek professional help.
1. Limit the amount of information you consume
Neidich recommends setting a 30-minute limit on news and social media every day, and challenging yourself to take two full days each week with no news or social media.
Even if you don't explicitly go on your devices to view coronavirus news, you will be bombarded during this time – so taking time off is an easy way to ease anxiety. By settingor you can limit your overall screen time or the way you interact with certain apps.
2. Focus on the Things You Can Arrange
Honestly, you can't do much about what's going on around you. You can only take care ofso you need to focus on that, Neidich says. Follow the advice of the major health authorities that monitor and fight coronavirus in the US – the CDC and WHO.
- (and if you don't have and water)
- Stay away from the sick
- Cover your mouth when you cough and your nose when you sneeze (ideally with a tissue that you can throw away)
- Avoid touching your face whenever possible
- for medical professionals, caregivers and people with compromised immune system
- Avoid non-essential travel (local, domestic and international)
- Keep your immune system strong by eating healthy, getting enough sleep and managing stress
& # 39; There is so much we don't do & # 39; it has no control over life, and COVID-19 is no different & # 39 ;, she says. & # 39; I invite people in this situation to focus on what they can control and to make sure they have a loved one or a counselor to share their emotional experience. & # 39;
3. Stay busy with other things
This is a classic tactic for controlling fear. While you should definitely honor your feelings (more on that in the next tip), try not to allow your thoughts to get out of hand. Focus on your daily obligations and add fun activities to your days to minimize anxiety, Neidich says. Here are some examples of simple, distracting activities you can try:
- Solve a puzzle or play a board game with your family
- Draw, paint, knit, or do something else creative
- Try baking a masterpiece dessert with ingredients you already have in your kitchen
- Read your favorite novel or watch your favorite movie
- Take a nap
- Call someone you love and talk about other things than the coronavirus
4. Make time to worry
Allow yourself time to review your thoughts on coronavirus. If you ignore them, they will survive, Neidich says. She recommends manual journaling on how you feel about COVID-19. Grab a piece of paper and a pen, set a timer and just let the words flow on paper. You don't have to keep the paper when you're done – throwing it out can be cathartic and it feels like you're clearing your mind.
Set a 3-minute timer for news, Neidich says. & # 39; You will find that you will not worry anymore before the timer expires. Once this is complete, turn your attention to self-care and keep your head occupied. & # 39;
5. Vent to a friend who won't judge you.
If you're more of a talker than a writer, Neidich says it can help to confide in a friend about how you feel. Talk to someone who won't judge you the way you feel, but try to avoid talking to someone who will further fuel your anxiety. The key, Neidich says, is choosing someone who understands how you feel, but who won't continue the fear you see online.
You should also first ask who you speak to to share your fears with them. Many of us deal with the stress of what's going on and it's only fair to ask someone if they are willing and able to listen before you drop your stress on them.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care professional if you have questions about a medical condition or health goals.