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Managing Your Mental Health During CoronavirusMarch 23, 2020
Coping with Coronavirus Anxiety
While COVID-19 is historic, your anxiety doesn’t have to take over your whole life.
Anxiety is a normal part of life, but with the coronavirus in the United States and spreading, many people are experiencing higher amounts of fear, anxiety, and panic than normal.
How to Cope with Coronavirus Anxiety
It is normal to feel a little anxious and uncertain, but anxiety can be bad for both your mental and physical health. In order to try and help mitigate these problems, our South Florida mental health facility is sharing some tips on coping with coronavirus anxiety so it doesn’t take over your whole life.
Avoid MisinformationUnfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about the coronavirus out there. Even bizarre claims that cocaine kills the coronavirus have been circulating. You cannot believe everything you read or hear. If you want to get more information on the coronavirus, make sure you are only looking at trusted sources. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a good source of information that is constantly sending out updated information. Having accurate information about the disease can help you mitigate irrational thoughts and fears that may be causing your coronavirus anxiety.
Turn Off the NewsOne of the best ways of managing coronavirus anxiety is to unplug. While it is important to stay informed, some news sources may be causing more panic than they realize. Instead of obsessively watching the news and reading articles online about every worst-case scenario, try to turn off this chatter. If you are looking for information about the coronavirus, only go to trusted sources for an update, but try to limit this to once or twice a day at most.
Be PracticalIf you are concerned about contracting the coronavirus, taking practical steps to try and avoid catching COVID-19 may help ease your worry. Avoid crowed or public places, wash your hands regularly, and sanitize items you use frequently. The more you can lower your risk of getting coronavirus, the less coronavirus anxiety you may feel. Just be careful that you do not cross the line from practicality to obsession.
Distract YourselfEspecially if you are already isolating yourself, don’t spend that time dwelling on the virus and worrying about the future. Instead, try to use your time productively or distract yourself. Read a book, watch a movie, cook, and even blast some of your favorite music. The more you are able to distract yourself, the easier it will be to deal with coronavirus anxiety and push those worries to the side.
Stay ConnectedWhile social distancing is taking over, coping with coronavirus anxiety doesn’t have to mean doing it alone or completely separating yourself from your loved ones. The great thing about the world we live in today is that we have the technology to stay connected even without being face-to-face. Facetime or call your loved ones to check-in if you cannot see them. While it may not be completely avoidable, try to focus on other topics besides the coronavirus. You may be surprised how relieved you will feel just speaking with them for ten minutes.
Find Professional HelpEspecially if you already have a history of mental illness or mental health problems, you may want to consider getting professional help if you find that your anxiety is taking over your life. Residential mental health treatment can not only give you the tools you need to deal with your coronavirus anxiety, but also provide a more controlled environment that can separate you from the outside world. If you have started turning to drugs or alcohol to cope with your anxiety, it may be time to seek treatment. While providing temporary relief, these substances typically make matters worse in the long run, but dual diagnosis treatment can help you address both issues at once.
Continue TreatmentIf you have already completed anxiety treatment before, it is important to remember what you learned. The coronavirus may be triggering your anxiety, but you shouldn’t let it destroy the progress you already made. Do your best to practice coping techniques you already know and be active in managing your coronavirus anxiety. You may need to take more steps than normal to manage your symptoms.
In order to cope with coronavirus anxiety, avoid misinformation, turn off the news, be practical, distract yourself, stay connected, and use healthy coping measures. If you are still struggling, get professional help.