With the life-changing drama, we have all had to face following the outbreak of COVID-19, it is completely understandable if you find yourself stressed with the situation. The news stories and press reports hardly make for happy reading, easily leaving you worried about the virus.
Added to that, you may be isolated from the people you love and bored with nothing to do. All too easily, these difficult feelings can build up causing anxiety.
Mental health issues can creep up on you, but there are some simple things you can do to improve your wellbeing even if things seem very difficult. We’re going to take a look at some ways in which you can cope with the stresses you currently face.
Keeping in Contact
One of the big problems with the current situation is the loneliness and isolation you might experience. Staying in contact with your friends and family even when you can’t meet or visit them is important.
Thanks to the Internet, there are many options available to you. With video calls and social media, you should be able to stay in contact with the ones you love. Keep in contact with friends and family using the following video chat services:
- Facebook Messenger
- Google Duo
You always have the option of calling someone as well, whatever method you choose, you should do it more frequently than you did before to make up for the lack of contact.
Talking About Your Feelings
It is perfectly normal to feel helpless and worried in a strange situation like the one we currently find ourselves in. When you are keeping in contact with your friends and family, you should discuss your concerns. Talking about what is worrying you should help you and it might also help the person you are talking to. They will have similar concerns and be able to relate. Talking should help both of you cope with the strange times we live in.
Part of the reason for anxiety at this time, will be the uncertainty surrounding the situation. If you are able to do things that will remove as much of this uncertainty as possible, you will feel better about things.
Take some time to think about what you have to do in a typical week and how you are affected by the current restrictions. What can you do to overcome the limitations to carry on with your life and your employment? If you haven’t already, find out where you stand in regard to employment and the government programs to help.
The more you understand where you stand and what the situation is, the better you will feel about the future.
Not Becoming Overwhelmed
With all the stories about the effects of the coronavirus, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the situation. This can lead to intense anxiety which can be devastating to your daily life.
While it isn’t possible to control these outside events and the spread of the virus, there is something you can control: yourself. It is very easy to overly focus on the news or the updated death toll, but this is unlikely to help you feel better about events.
To reduce your stress, you may be better not keeping up with the latest details in the news, if this is becoming a problem for you. If you are almost constantly thinking about the pandemic, it is probably time to distance yourself from the news sources you’ve been following.
To avoid worrying about future events, that you have little control over, focus on the present. This way you will be less inclined to worry about the things you cannot change and may never happen anyway.
Relaxation techniques can help you deal with difficult emotions, improving your wellbeing. You could try breathing exercises or meditation to calm you down when things get stressful.
Mental health is improved by physical fitness. And at a time like this where you may be encouraged to stay at home, it is all too easy to let your fitness slip.
There are lots of things you can do to maintain your fitness even if you have been told to shelter in place. There are apps you can download or videos you could watch to keep fit. You could take the opportunity to turn over a new leaf and begin regularly exercising if you didn’t previously.
If you are worried, it is easy to comfort eat to make yourself feel better. It is important to make sure you stick to a healthy diet and take some exercise. Don’t overdo alcohol or drugs, as they are only going to make you feel better in the short-term, and could have longer-term repercussions.
Even though it may seem like a bad idea to add to the burden doctors currently have, if you feel unwell with coronavirus symptoms or not, you should still seek medical attention if things are bad enough. You shouldn’t add to your anxieties by worrying over medical issues.
You still need to be taking your meds as well. Even if your income isn’t currently what it was, it is important to continue with any medicines you’ve been prescribed. If you have been furloughed or fired because of COVID, you may be able to find your meds online for less. Make sure you check out our pharmacies reviews 2020 so that you get the best prices.
With an event such as this, it is all too easy for rumors and false information to spread like wildfire. People are talking about the pandemic and sharing information from sources which might not be correct. While the information might sound compelling, if it isn’t true it can lead to serious consequences and misunderstandings.
Take, for example, the rumor that 5G cellular networks were responsible for spreading the virus. This lead to people attacking 5G masts, setting them alight. The truth is that this belief makes zero sense, there is no way that a virus can be spread by radio waves. People aren’t blaming 4G or even 3G for spreading the virus, and the only difference is that 5G uses higher frequencies over the earlier versions.
Added to that, South Korea has one of the highest adoption rates of 5G, and yet they controlled the spread of the virus better than anywhere else. Also, Iran has had a lot of cases and they don’t have any 5G infrastructure.
Not only could fake news lead to silly conspiracy theories, but it can also increase people’s fears about the coronavirus. If you are feeling stressed about the situation, don’t increase your fears by reading conspiracy theories or fake news that isn’t going to help matters.
If you are feeling down, why not do things you enjoy to improve your mood? If you have a favorite hobby you can focus on, it will take your mind off your worries for a while and make you feel a bit better.
As you might be stuck indoors, perhaps catching up on your favorite box set and doing some binge-watching will cheer you up.
You could try to develop a new skill by doing a course. There are many online tutorials and courses which could give you something more useful to focus your mind on. Coming out of lockdown with a new skill, could improve your career prospects and lead to a new job.
You can also think about how to do things you aren’t currently able to do, online. Perhaps a friend has had to cancel a birthday party or a baby shower isn’t going ahead. Meet up with friends via video conferencing or organize an online party to have the celebration virtually.
Getting a full night’s sleep, without waking up during the night, can help you feel better mentally. It is also known to improve your physical health and could be beneficial in fighting the coronavirus should you become infected.
You should try to have regular sleeping patterns, going to bed, and waking at the same time each day. To help with this you should avoid caffeine later in the evening, as well as trying to avoid looking at screens before you go to sleep. Create a calmer environment for yourself before you go to bed if you can.
If you find yourself lying awake at night, don’t try to force your sleep. Instead, it is better to get up and do something fairly relaxing that will make you feel more tired.
While our suggestions should help reduce your anxieties over the pandemic, it is also important to remember that the situation is only temporary. These concerns and stress will pass, and the things you are worrying about may never happen. We will adapt to the new reality and move on with our lives. Everyone has to deal with this new situation you aren’t alone.
If you use our tips, you should be able to think more clearly about the risks and look after yourself as well as your loved ones. Listen to what the experts are saying you should do for where you live, and don’t fixate on the worst-case scenario or any rumors being spread online.