Ways to control your anxiety during the outbreak of COVID-19
With the outbreak of coronavirus worsening, combined with the advertising of its effects on social media and the news, people’s mental health is taking a toll.
In this blog, we have outlined a few options of things for you to do to help control your anxiety and stress.
Assign a worry period
When dealing with anxiety, some people find that the best way to control it is by allowing themselves to worry for a limited amount of time. Within this period you can worry as much as you want, and then you move on from it.
Anxious states aren’t permanent
It is important to remember that anxious states will end, even though they feel like they last forever. It is a hard thing to do, but trying is the first step.
We tend to jump to worst-case scenarios, which more often than not do not reflect the reality of the situation.
Ban googling symptoms
As many of you already know, googling your symptoms mostly ends in diagnosing yourself with the wrong health condition – a condition which is usually more severe.
Googling symptoms, participating in message-boards and forums can only fuel your health anxiety, which is why it is best to avoid them during this time.
Breath and ground
Performing breathing and grounding exercises can help bring you out of your anxious state. Examples of these can be found online and include yoga, stretching exercises and using essential oils to create calming aromas.
If you have a persistent and recurring worry, give it the ‘courtroom treatment’. This is done by confronting the thought with a rational counter-statement.
For example, if you have a recurring thought about your loved ones being badly affected by the virus, counter it will factual statements – such as the survival rate of people who catch it.
Any exercise will enable you to get the adrenaline out of your system – channelling the panic elsewhere. You can even do simple exercises and those that don’t require a large amount of space.
Give yourself a treat
As the saying goes, ‘treat yourself’. But in this context, you should give yourself anything that will provide you with joy. It does not mean you need to spend money. You can cook yourself something nice, draw a bath, read a book and listen to music.
Have a detox from the news
When you have health anxiety, the need to read the latest updates can become an urge. In turn, these compulsive behaviours fuel the anxiety.
Therefore, it is advised to assign yourself a limit and time of day to focus on the health-related news. If you have concerns about missing something important, you could ask someone you can depend on to contact you if there is an emergency.
Refrain from seeking constant reassurance
It is the same with any other anxiety when you seek reassurance, the answer you receive tends to only provide you with temporary comfort.
When you ask for constant reassurance, your brain creates a feedback cycle where you become increasingly reliant on reassurance.
Whilst asking for comfort is natural if you start needing it several times a day, it is best to take a step.
Whilst everyone is worrying and experiencing the same consequences of this public health crisis, it is important to remember to be kind to yourself, to those around you and to remain calm and positive.
For more information about the services we provide for those living with mental health and how we can help to achieve such positive outcomes for the people we are privileged to support, please contact us.