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Due to the coronavirus (COVID) outbreak, millions of people are working from home; malls, schools and other public places are closed to prevent the risk of contracting this new virus. During a pandemic, feelings of fear, anxiety and sadness tend to crop up because you never know how widespread or deadly this disease is going to end up being.
During this crisis, having increased feelings of anxiety and sadness is very normal, especially for people with existing mental health problems. Health experts say that people may feel overwhelmed, fearful, sad, angry and helpless and also may find difficulty in concentrating. Some people may have physical symptoms such as an upset stomach or an increased heart rate.
Quarantine due to coronavirus or other such similar outbreaks has a negative impact on mental health, according to a study. People who had been quarantined had a high prevalence of psychological symptoms, such as depression, emotional disturbance, low mood, irritability, stress, insomnia and post-traumatic stress symptoms .
Coronavirus can cause people to stress out and worry a lot more. Here are some ways to cope with anxiety during the coronavirus outbreak.
Physical activity can help ease your stress and calm down your mind . If you are indoors, try doing simple exercises like water bottle weights, plank exercises and dancing. If you are not under quarantine, go for a walk or run outside while avoiding close contact with people.
2. Get involved in your favourite hobby
If gardening, cooking or baking is your favourite hobby, start getting involved in it as it will drive away all your stress and worries . You can list out the fruits and vegetables to plant in your garden or if you are into cooking or baking, cook your favourite dish or dessert.
3. Read books
Reading books can help overcome anxiety and fear. Just by opening a book, you are allowing your brain to go into a literary world that will help distract you from your stress, fear and anxiety. Read light-hearted books as it will help relax your body and mind.
4. Take a relaxing bath
A relaxing bath with salts, essential oils and candles will release your stress, anxiety and depression because the pleasant aromas can aid in relaxing your body . Soak yourself in a bubble bath or take a hot shower.
5. Mindfulness meditation
Practicing mindfulness meditation will make you live in the present moment by making you aware of where you are and what you are, and not get overly overwhelmed by what's going on around you. It will teach you how to respond to stress and help reduce anxiety and depression .
6. Stick to a routine
If you are working from home during this crisis, your usual commute and schedule will be out of track. Follow a new routine that will let you explore a lot of things even while you are working from home and this will help you to stay on track.
7. Limit your social media consumption
Too much incorrect information is getting circulated on social media platforms. Reading that information and not knowing what's right or wrong will increase your anxiety and fear. Limit your time on social media and read less number of articles on coronavirus outbreak.
Note: To stay well informed, go through reliable, reputable online sources such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).
8. Develop your own action plan
Avoid listening to people who will give unsolicited advice and taking advice from the wrong people will do you more harm than good. Don't take suggestions unless they are recommended by the CDC or WHO or other government sources.
9. Think what you are grateful for
Take a diary, journal or notebook and write down the things that you are grateful for. Write down what's most important to you and what you truly appreciate in your life, it can be anything. This will reduce your anxiety and stress levels and help you feel calmer.
10. Practice self-care
During this stressful time, taking good care of yourself is of utmost importance. Eat a balanced diet, get plenty of sleep and get involved in your leisure activities. This will improve your physical and psychological well-being .
11. Seek professional help
If you feel that you are stressing out or fearing more than usual due to the coronavirus outbreak, seek professional help immediately. A psychologist will help you manage your fears while also motivating you to do better and take good decisions.
During this time of crisis, the World Health Organization (WHO) has come up with some tips to support mental health and psychological well-being.
- Avoid watching, reading or listening to news that may make you feel distressed or anxious.
- Seek accurate information to take preventive steps for yourself and for your loved ones.
- Seek information updates at specific times, once or twice during the day.
As quick as pandemics begin they disappear as well. Managing your anxiety can be difficult during this outbreak; just following the above tips will help manage your anxiety during these times of uncertainty.