Updated: Mar 21, 2020
With all the uncertainty around the world right now it's easy to become very anxious and worried but we must make every effort to ensure that we don't let that fear overwhelm us and dictate our lives. This time last week I was obsessively checking the news and keeping myself updated with the latest figures and developments, I thought 'knowledge is power, information soothes me' which initially did help but after the days went on it started to have a big effect on my mood. I started to feel hopeless and extremely anxious. Sound familiar?
Since then I have decided to focus on the positives and limit my time on platforms such as Twitter and only watch the news in the morning so I still stay updated but I can then push it out of my mind for the rest of the day.
Coping with coronavirus anxiety
Focus on what you can do, not what you cant. There are lots of little things that you can do to help prevent you and your family from contracting the virus. Wash your hands regularly (before and after meals, upon arrival of a destination such as home or work) and regularly clean anything that is frequently touched such as door handles, taps, light switches, staircase railings, etc.
Read every day. Books are a great way to escape reality, why not treat yourself to a couple new books to read instead of scrolling through social media? If you can, purchase your books from an independent/small local bookshop to help support our economy.
Get creative. Doing something creative is a great way to mentally unload whether it be in the form of textiles, drawing, cake decorating, photography or knitting. Creativity lowers stress levels and gives you a sense of purpose. If your sat here thinking "but beth, I can't draw to save my life" it doesn't matter, there are many ways to be creative, even something as simple as an adult coloring book would do wonders for your anxiety.
Help others. When you feel helpless and vulnerable, rather than focusing on your personal situation, think about how you could help somebody else. It is so important now more than ever that we look out for one another, reach out to vulnerable and elderly neighbors and see if they need any help with shopping or collecting medications, etc. REMEMBER to keep a distance from them to avoid potentially infecting them, According to Public Health England (PHE), typically spending more than 15 minutes within two meters of an infected person can raise your risk of catching the virus.
Practice good self-care. Make sure that you are taking care of yourself by eating healthy, exercising daily, meditating and doing things that you enjoy. Think of your mind as if it where a car, you need to fuel it with everything it needs in order for it to run smoothly. See 'Six healthy habits that will transform your life')
Build a support network for yourself. It's great to have a support network in place for those days where it all gets too much so reach out to some of the positive people in your life for emotional support. A friend of mine (Rebecca George) and I created a Facebook group called Coronavirus Mental Health Support which is full of positive news storys, self-care stories tips, and emotional support. Feel free to join and invite friends/family too!
Carry on as normal as much as you can. You may now be working from home and you may even have children at home with you too which is bound to send your 'normal' out the window. Try and adapt your regular routine to your current situation as much as you can, get up and dressed at the same time, eat at the same time and work the same hours (where possible) and you will be back into the swing of things in no time.
It can be hard to manage your mental health during difficult times like this but by supporting one another and nurturing our mental state we can get through this. Join our Coronavirus Mental Health Support group by clicking the image below.