The corona virus has become a worldwide pandemic, with a number of cities and countries completely shutting down. Some may have already seen the toll this disease has had. Others are prepping themselves before it’s too late.
However, one questions remains in all our heads, “What’s going the happen next?”
With the media constantly pumping out predictions, it can be difficult to get a grasp on the situation. Especially as everyone around you seems to be in a constant nervous bubble.
For many of us, it’s the uncertainty of this situation that get the better of our mental health. We’re still unsure how both the world and we as individuals will be impacted by what’s going on.
And this uncertainty is driving much of the anxiety that’s in the air. However, it we don’t get a grasp on our mental state, things can spiral out of control overwhelmingly quick.
Luckily, there are things you can do in order to manage anxieties or other mental health concerns you may have.
Don’t Obsess Over News Articles
It’s great to stay informed and, in many regards, it’s almost impossible not to. With the internet at everyone’s disposal, all the information we need surrounding the corona virus is a couple clicks away. However, this rapid spread of information comes with its dangers.
For one, there’s a lot of misinformation surrounding the pandemic. Even prominent news media doesn’t have a full grasp as to what’s happening. With this misinformation, a lot of the sensationalism that’s plaguing our social media is feeding into people’s general concerns.
Keep this in mind the next time you come across coverage on the corona virus. Though we all want to be informed on the situation, it’s best to keep a healthy distance away from the media. To take a few deep breathes and remember that only time can truly tell what’s going to happen.
If you’re generally concerned and need information, make sure you stick with reputable sources. These include the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and local health authorities.
Focus On What You’re In Control Of
One of the biggest reasons the world is in a state of panic is because there seems to be a lack of control on the overall situation. This is an understandable reaction and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
If panic gets out of hand, the consequences of that can be just as bad as the virus itself.
We understand the difficultly in accepting what’s happening. We’re sure that a number of different scenarios have ran through your mind as to what might happened. But feeding into this will only make you feel more overwhelmed, anxious, and tired.
It’s important to step back and remember what is in your personal control – especially, when you’re feeling moments of anxiety.
A good example of this is taking the sanitary precautions necessary to prevent the spread. Though you can’t control whether or not the outbreak enters your area, you can reduce your own risk to it along with the risk of those around you. The best way to do so is by:
- Washing your hands on a regular basis for about 20 seconds.
- Keeping your hands away from your face.
- Staying at home whenever possible – especially, if you’re feeling sick.
- Avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.
- Take precautions to boost your immune system – eat healthy, get a better night’s sleep, etc.
Plan As Much As You Can
Besides the outbreak itself, one of the biggest concerns for people are their financials. Many workplaces are closing, kids are now staying home from school, and there’s been an overall stagnation in the economy. This in itself can also cause fear and uncertainty.
The best thing you can do to beat this is plan ahead. Here are some tips to get you started.
- The corona virus is going to impact you whether you fall ill or not. Be prepared and write down exactly what concerns you about this impact.
- Make a list of different ways you can prepare for this impact. Include whatever it takes to make sure you can get by.
- Keep your focus on what’s in your control rather than situations beyond your control.
As you write such a list, you may find yourself getting caught up in the “what-ifs” of the situation. If, at any given time, you are feeling uncertain and you feel yourself moving towards negativity, it’s important to ground yourself.
There are a few ways to do this. The first is by bringing your attention to your breath and your body. Focus what you can on the present – notice the sights, sounds, and smells of what’s around you. Keep breathing slowly and allow your mind to drift back to calmness.
Don’t Lose Touch with Others
We’re all being told to social distance ourselves to prevent the spread of this virus. Many people have taken to staying home and isolating themselves.
Though this can greatly help in making sure this virus doesn’t get out of hand, it can have a damaging effect on a personal’s mental health.
It shouldn’t be forgotten that humans are social animals. We need connections with others, especially in times where we feel most isolated. Loneliness has a way of inducing anxiety and depression and this even holds the potential to harm our physical health.
For these reasons, it’s vital you stay connected with others and reach out to support those who need it. Even though we’re told not to be interacting with one another in-person, there are some things we can do through the advent of technology:
- Make it a priority to keep in touch with family and friends. Consider setting up a scheduled phone or video call.
- Use social media as a way to get connected with your community. However, keep in mind what we mentioned earlier about the sensationalism spreading there.
- Don’t just talk about the corona virus. It seems that’s all anyone can talk about and it isn’t helping the overall situation. It’s only fueling stressful thoughts. Try to ignore what’s happening – even if just for a moment – and laugh, share stories, and focus on what you can do to better yourself.
With that final point, it’s important to remember emotions are contagious. You may notice this when a very charismatic person enters the room, everyone seems to light up. The same goes for anxiety.
Focus on Bettering Your Body and Spirit
As we’ve discussed, it’s vital you make sure to focus on the things you have control over. Two of these are your body and spirit. By practicing healthy habits, you develop stress management skills.
Though these include eating healthy, getting regular sleep, and meditating, there are some other things you should keep in mind:
- Be Kind – Don’t be so hard on yourself or others. This is a tough time and any amount of kindness can go a long way.
- Keep to Your Schedule – Many of us have had our schedules thrown off due to the corona virus. When we break normalcy, it can be difficult to maintain our mental health. Therefore, we suggest sticking to the schedule you had prior to this pandemic as much as possible.
- Start Doing Thing You Really Enjoy – Since many of us are stuck at home, this is a great time to start getting involved in activities we may not have had enough time for prior. Or to hones in on skills you were previously working on.
- Spend Time in Nature – We understand there’s it recommended everyone stays at home, but if it’s possible, we highly suggest getting out and spending time in nature. A quick walk through your neighborhood, the fresh air, and some sunshine is bound to do you well.
- Exercise – You may not be able to go to a gym, but staying active is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. We suggest finding videos online of home exercises and yoga practices.
These are some difficult and strange times we’re living through. We understand many out there are struggling more with their mental health rather than the virus itself. With that said, we encourage you to take this as an opportunity to better your coping mechanisms.
We will fight through this. We will soon be out of the panic. But until then, take it easy, breathe slowly, and remember to focus on what’s in your control.