Coping with Coronavirus

Coping+with+Coronavirus

You can’t hide from it. Everywhere you are, it follows you. Every headline, countless conversations, trending tweets, it’s there. The panic and anxiety consume you. It is an apocalypse in the making. You need to stay safe. You need to protect your family, your friends. You need to get your hands on anything you can get: toilet paper, Clorox wipes, canned beans. The worlds turned to chaos. You need to be where the people aren’t. You can’t risk being anywhere near it. In an already stress-filled world, the chaos of COVID-19 makes life extremely difficult, especially if you deal with a mental disorder such as Anxiety. Dealing with an anxiety disorder is already difficult but adding the mass chaos of the world makes it worse. The restlessness, feeling of dread, and angst can get to a point where it feels uncontrollable. With the mayhem of the COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, only starting, it’s important to understand what to do to keep your mental health in check during this pandemic.

First off, don’t consume yourself with the media. It’s easy to get sucked into the wormhole, reading countless articles about the effects and statistics of the Coronavirus. This only adds to more stress, making the fear and panic worse. Yet, it’s still important to be informed. Beware of what’s happening around you, and make sure to keep yourself out of harm’s way if it gets to that point.  According to the center for disease control, taking breaks in what you consume is also important. Taking breaks from social media and the news lets the strong feelings fade, giving you the chance to take a deep breath and distract yourself from what is happening. Don’t be afraid to mute ¨Corona¨ and ¨COVID-19¨ on twitter. Social media such as that overwhelms anyone who doesn’t deal with a mental health issue. Be in control of what you take in, giving yourself some control over the neverending thoughts of ¨were all going to die.¨

Self-care is key. Taking care of yourself and wellness is the best way to keep up with daily life. Being able to have some control by using coping methods can help keep emotions in check. By doing activities such as taking a walk, doing a puzzle, exercise, journaling and more can help make your body and mind relax, reducing some of the anxiety. Another important factor in reducing anxiety and stress about the virus is by communicating with others. Being able to express your concerns and fears with a family member or friend can help reduce the madness of the situations. It can bring clarity and realization to the matter by accepting that testing positive is unlikely, but also allowing you to make a plan of what to do if yourself or someone around you is experiencing symptoms or has the coronavirus. Being prepared gives your brain a chance to reflect on the situation, finding clarity.

Every day this virus is around there is another opportunity for your mental health to decline. By accepting the fact that what is happening is beyond our control and being willing to make changes based on the circumstances will help reduce anxiety. Being aware of what you can do to prevent the spread of the virus is important. Make sure to avoid touching your face, cover your coughs, wash your hands for 20 seconds and avoid contact with the ill will help keep you and your loved ones safer. Losing control of the controllable will only increase anxiety. Keep being safe, and remember, being positive during this difficult time will help keep mental health in check.

 

This article was originally published in The Black and Redgister, Adel, IA.