With the coronavirus outbreak being declared as a pandemic and it being spread at a rapid rate across the globe, all our news feed seems to be filled with headlines of the same. And with more and more cases being reported across the globe, one might find it hard to maintain a positive outlook and keep their emotional well being intact.
With people being asked to work from their homes and educational institutions shut down, everyday lives are being disrupted as people are living in isolation with little or no contact with the outside world. This can inadvertently lead to panic and stress for many. So, if you ever feel your anxiety creeping back in or stressed as a result of panic or fear, here’s how you can keep it in check:
1. Don’t Depend On Unreliable Sources
There’s an overflow of information from various sources about COVID-19. And WhatsApp forward messages about the pandemic are on a rise. While some of these may happen to be accurate information, there’s a huge scope for misinformation being spread which will only induce panic. Hence it’s best to limit your information from credible sources such as news channels or other websites including the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2. Limit Your Exposure To Everyday News
While you may be curious to get news updates on COVID-19, there’s such a thing as too much exposure. Set clear boundaries on how much news you want to read or watch and spend the rest of your day doing something productive. While it is important to follow the WHO guidelines to protect and prevent yourself from spreading the disease, constantly watching the news can lead to further distress.
3. Focus On Self-Care
Now that you are socially distancing yourself from the rest of the world, this might be probably a good time to catch up on your sleep and focus on your health. You’ve got plenty of time on your hands, so make the most of it. Read a book, catch up with a friend over the phone, watch your favorite TV show while sipping hot chocolate, or do some workout. Indulging in some physical activities such as exercising and yoga is also a great way to improve your physical and mental well being.
If you are somebody who is working at the front lines of the crisis, make sure that you follow a healthy diet and get enough sleep to cope with the stress of your work.
4. Maintain Contact With Others
Being cut off from the outside world can lead to feeling lonely and concerned. Though you can’t physically hug or be with people, know that there are several other ways to keep in touch with your friends and family. Make the most of other means of communication such as calling, texting, or video calls to find a sense of comfort and care. If you have elderly neighbors, reach out to them and ask them if they need any help. Helping out your fellow beings will not only benefit them but make you feel better in doing your bit at this time.
5. Keep A Positive Outlook
Having a sense of hope is key to maintaining an optimistic attitude through it all. Instead of focusing on things that are beyond your control, focus on things you can do. It includes washing your hands and following basic hygiene. Spend your day by doing things that make you feel relaxed and happy such as watching a sitcom or spending some quality time with your pet.
Most importantly, acknowledge your feelings of stress, anxiousness, or panic. You could be experiencing a wide range of emotions which is completely normal at this time. Follow the above steps and make the necessary changes in your lifestyle and routine to make room for hope and happiness. You could also try writing down your feelings in a journal to cope with it more effectively.