Did you know 70% of workers say they feel more stressed during COVID-19 than at any other point in their professional career? The need to address covid anxiety is apparent now more than ever. Plus, sustained high anxiety can compromise your immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses like coronavirus. Here are seven ways to deal with your coronavirus anxieties.
1. Limit your news intake. The need to check for the latest coronavirus updates can become compulsive, feeding your covid anxiety. Give yourself a time limit, maybe 30 minutes each day, for reading or watching the news. If you’re worried about missing something crucial, tell your friends and family to contact you in the event of an emergency situation.
2. Prioritize self-care. Keeping up with healthy habits such as maintaining a healthy diet, getting quality sleep and exercising regularly can help us reduce stress and sustain a strong immune system. Practicing mindfulness, meditation, yoga and other relaxation techniques can also help you keep your mind at ease. Try this mini-meditation from Headspace.
There are many workouts that can be done in your own home, with or without equipment. Click here for ideas.
3. Practice tolerating uncertainty. A study done during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic showed that people who had a harder time accepting the uncertainty of the situation were more likely to experience elevated anxiety. Start being okay with uncertainty and stop seeking constant reassurance. When you constantly want your loved ones to tell you things will be OK, your brain creates a feedback cycle where you become increasingly reliant on reassurance, which only serves to reinforce covid anxiety.
4. Focus on the future in more positive ways. Think about tasks, chores and responsibilities that you have today. Wear a face mask in public places, wash your hands and practice good self-care.
5. Counter negative thoughts with facts. For example, if you’re constantly thinking, “Everyone I love will die from this virus,” try countering it with a factual statement such as, “Actually, most people who get COVID-19 will fully recover, and that’s assuming my entire family gets it.“ Take a step back. Just because you think something doesn’t make it true.
6. Schedule designated "worry time." Allow yourself a half an hour or so each day to worry. During that time, write down all of the worries you can think of into a journal. If you start to worry outside of your “worry time,” tell yourself to let go of these thoughts until the next designated worry period. Once that time is over, force yourself to move on and go do something else.
Write down your worries in a journal each day for 15-30 minutes.
7. Seek the right people for support. If you're overwhelmed, try not to go to someone who has a similar level of fear about coronavirus. Instead, find someone who is handling it more calmly. They may be able to help you keep your anxiety in check and provide some advice.
In summary, while you can't control what happens when it comes to the coronavirus, you can control how you react. You're allowed to worry or feel scared some of the time, but try not to let it keep you from living your healthiest life. Use these seven tips to help reduce your covid anxiety
Get more COVID-19 stress management tips from the CDC here.
Visit our website for more information on TargetCare COVID-19 Support Services.