Fears about coronavirus can take an emotional toll, especially if you already suffer from anxiety. It is a scary world we are living in at present. The country has been and continues to brace itself for the unknown. We are all watching the headlines for updates on what is going to happen. For many people, the uncertainty of what is happening is difficult to cope with. We do not know what to expect and our lives have been turned upside down. It is important to understand that we are all afraid of how coronavirus is going to affect us.
Staying informed of what is happening in the world and your local community is important. So stick to trustworthy sources that deliver accurate news, like The World Health Organisation and local health authorities. Limit the amount of time you are spending watching news feeds as this can fuel anxiety. Step away from the news for a while if it is getting on top of you and only watch the news once a day.
Focus on the things that you can control such as:
• washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Or use a hand sanitiser that contains a minimum of 60% alcohol
• avoiding touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth
• staying at home as much as possible
• coughing and sneezing into a tissue
• avoiding gatherings of people
• avoiding non-essential shopping and travel
• keeping at least 2 metres away from others
• making sure you get enough sleep as this supports the immune system
The future of the workplace can also be a worry. How long will the children be off school and will there still be a job to go back to. Being proactive can help to alleviate some of the anxieties.
You may find it useful to:
• keep a journal and write down your feelings about the coronavirus
• take a break if you are starting to feel stressed
• focus on the things that you can control instead of those out of your control
• make a list of what you are going to do when the lockdown has been lifted
• set up WhatsApp groups with friends and family to stay connected
Isolation from others can increase anxiety levels and depression and can affect our physical health. It is vital to stay in touch with others, friends and family who can support us by staying connected. Make it a priority to keep in contact. We tend to withdraw when feeling depressed and anxious and so planning to call or Skype/Zoom with those closest to you can help to keep one to one connection going. Talking helps to maintain good mental health. This is where social media can be a huge benefit, it reminds us that we are not on our own. If others are adding to your worries, then turn off the sound or log off and return to it another time. Try not to make coronavirus take over any conversations you might have and focus on the other things that are happening in your life.
To take care of yourself by:
• being kind to yourself
• maintaining a routine and doing regular activities
• take time for yourself, do something fun, watch a DVD or try a new recipe
• getting some fresh air, do some gardening or go for a walk around your neighbourhood
• finding ways to exercise, try yoga or online live streaming
It is at times like this when our reserve is challenged. As the song goes “We’ll meet again” we continue to have hope that soon we will be able to be amongst family and friends and this will all be behind us.
STAY HOME – STAY SAFE