We are facing one of the most severe global pandemics in living history. Coronavirus has taken millions of people's lives, and it is still killing people worldwide. It forces us to limit our sociality and be away from what most of us have always considered ‘normal life.
These changes and stresses make coronavirus anxiety a natural response. Coronavirus anxiety might cause you unnecessary fear, stress, and worry. This anxiety might present itself at unexpected times. For some periods of time you may feel normal but maybe the everyday lows that you are normally capable of coping with feel much harder.
The first thing to know is that some coronavirus anxiety is normal. You are not alone. However, if what you are feeling is starting to impact your everyday life to the point that you are struggling with the basics, you need to seek professional help. For the wider audience and as a good place to start we have put together some tips for coping with coronavirus anxiety.
First of all, think critically about input information, for example, news, articles, or something you see on social media. With the way that we receive information constantly shifting, media regulation cannot always keep up. Social media information is not fully verified, as everyone is free to post anything on these platforms. Unverified information might mislead or in the case of it being conflicting cause confusion and increase anxiety and stress. In this case, HelpGuide suggests that what you can do is to stick to reliable sources – the CDC, the World Health Organisation, and your local public health authorities. But beyond that, consider if looking at the news is actually helping you in this moment. If it’s making you feel worse, think about ways you can limit your exposure to the constant bombardment of information, whether that be turning off news notifications or unfollowing media pages on social media.
Secondly, focus on the things you can control. Coronavirus brings many uncertainties. We don’t know when we can go back to schools and offices. We don't know when we can go to the beach or enjoy a drink at the pub with our friends. This can be demotivating but instead of focusing on what we can't control, we should pay attention to what we can handle in such a situation. For example, coronavirus keeps us away from the gym, but it does not forbid us from keeping fit. Working out at home can bring some routine and control back into our lives. In the same way whilst we can’t go to restaurants we can still look forward to creating a delicious meal at home.
Thirdly, stay connected with your friends and family even though you are physically isolated. Sharing how you are feeling will make you feel better and help to remember that you are not alone. Modern technologies can help us connect with lots of different people in many different ways, whether it be via phone, video calls, or playing games online. We should make full use of them and relieve the stress brought by the virus.
If you are finding it hard to deal with coronavirus anxiety, don't worry, Inner Psych Canberra is always here to support you. Contact us via phone or email. We have psychological professionals to provide immediate treatment for you to get through these challenging times.