Anxiety and the Coronavirus – As the Coronavirus pandemic affects the world, many of us have felt the toll on our mental health. Anxiety and uncertainty about what the future may hold can leave people feeling vulnerable and helpless. Although, the full effect of the pandemic is yet to be known, there are things that we can do to minimise the impact it will have on our mental health.
Physically distance, socially reach out
The government’s advice to refrain from congregating in large numbers is important to follow and avoiding pubs, restaurants and other social venues is pivotal to slowing the spread of the virus. However, that doesn’t mean we need to be shut off from our friends and family. Increasing telephone calls, Skype chats and other ways to stay in touch is even more important during times like this. Reaching out to others and checking in on them can help boost people’s moods and also keep a sense of connection.
Structure your time
For many of us, being asked to work from home is something new and may take some adjustment. Making sure we keep to a routine is one way that we can keep on top of things. If you normally have to dress for work, keep doing this. It helps to separate work time from leisure time. Make sure you have regular breaks and keep to a similar schedule you would if you were in your office or normal workplace. Ensure that you find a balance between routine and making sure each day has some variety.
Limit social media and the news
Social media overload is something that may intensify feeling of anxiety especially for those people with pre-existing conditions. Limit reading or watching the news to 15 minutes and day and avoid reading social media posts from people who aren’t experts. Take breaks from Instagram and Facebook and mute any group chats that might increase your distress. Seek information for practical steps you can take to prepare yourself and your family and make specific times to update yourself with the WHO and other healthcare professionals.
Exercise and avoid burning out
Over the next few weeks and months, it is still important to keep up exercise and accessing sunlight on a daily basis. Taking walks, eating healthy and staying hydrated with benefit both your physical but also mental health. Find downtime to relax, be creative, watch a funny film. Home workout videos and meditation apps will help to reduce anxiety and reduce worries.
If you would like to know more about how psychotherapy or counselling can help you deal with stressful situations such as this one give us a call on 020 7735 6813, we are now offering online video calls for most of our services.
Written by James Whittaker