The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is changing the way we live and work. Every day brings additional closings, stock market drops, and dire health predictions. Not surprisingly, many of us are feeling anxious and stressed. We feel like the world is spinning out of control. So how do you cope with your coronavirus fears?
Coronavirus Fears During Outbreak
Lack of control is a key factor in anxiety. When you’re not in control of a situation, you create worst-case scenarios in your mind that might never happen. Coronavirus fears are difficult for anyone to handle. They can become crippling if you already have an anxiety disorder.
“When we don’t understand something, that leaves us feeling like we don’t know everything we need to protect ourselves … That equates to powerless vulnerability,” David Ropeik, an expert on risk communication, told USA Today.
Fortunately, it’s possible to decrease your anxiety during these difficult times. These tips may help.
The best ways to reduce your risk are under your control. Wash your hands regularly. Keep your hands away from your face. Stay 6 feet away from other people. Don’t go to school or work if you feel ill.
Create a Plan
This puts you in control of your response to the virus and can help relieve anxiety. Have you stocked up on food, medication, and personal care items? Have you made alternate work arrangements with your employer if you can?
Although the novel coronavirus can be deadly, most people survive the infection. Many only experience mild symptoms or don’t even know they have it.
Do You or a Loved One Have Symptoms?
Having symptoms? Call your primary care provider. If you don’t have one, find one near you.
If your symptoms are severe, call this number before coming to the emergency department: 434.98.COVID (982-6843).
Reduce News Watching
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends checking the news only once or twice a day if you’re feeling anxious. Choose reputable news outlets that focus on facts, not speculation.
Find Ways to Relax
Go for a walk outside, meditate or watch a funny movie at home to naturally lower stress.
Embrace Healthy Habits
Bolster your immune system with a healthy diet, ample amounts of sleep and regular exercise.
If your coronavirus fears become overwhelming, don’t suffer alone. Talk to a compassionate friend or family member. If necessary, schedule an appointment with a mental health counselor. Many are offering phone or video appointments at this time.
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