In these unprecedented times we all are suffering from anxiety directly or indirectly due to the Covid-19 epidemic. It is normal to feel anxious about your health, family, work, finances, social isolation and politics.
Here are our 5 helpful tips to assist in coping with Covid-19 anxiety:
- Know when to get expert help: we are in unprecedented times and the mental and psychological effects of the pandemic will be with us long after the virus is gone. The first and most important thing is the know when to seek expert help, especially if you or your family have a history of mental illness. If your general anxiety moves into prolonged bouts of depression and feelings of ‘I can’t cope anymore’ or ‘I am not in control’ please see expert advice immediately. In fact, more so than ever, everyone can benefit from seeking some form of mental assistance – none of us has been through something like this before and it is a good idea to learn the correct mental tools to use in a time like this.
- Accept the new normal: they say the road to recovery starts with acceptance and the same can be applied to our current situation. If you have the attitude of ‘I can’t wait for this to be over’ or ‘when things go back to normal’, you might be setting yourself up for failure. Covid-19 has forever changed our lives and the virus will be with us for several more months. Even after the virus is gone the effects will be with us for some time. So it is better to accept this new world and adapt to it rather than trying to compare to what is lost.
- Surround yourself with positivity: I know easier said than done! Stay positive sounds like such a cliché, but how exactly do you do it? Well, start by cutting out negativity and surrounding yourself with positivity. Practical examples can be: who do you follow on social media? If your social feed is full of people (and organisations) that spread negative emotions, subconsciously you also start to feel the same. Unfollow those and start following people and organisations that spread positive messages. Another example is the way you speak. Make a conscious decision to speak positively; even talking about bad experiences you can do this in a positive way. For example: ‘while the last couple of months has been hard, I am thankful for [insert positive thought] me and my family’s good health’.
- Stay active and eat healthy: our physical health has a strong influence on our emotional well-being. Not exercising, and not eating healthy cause chemical imbalances in your body that help contributes to anxiety and low energy. Start by doing something simple things such as talking a long walk or taking the stairs instead of the elevator and gradually increase the amount of time you exercise.
- Something to look forward to: choose a reachable goal or reward that gives you something to look forward to (such as a weekly massage!). This can be a holiday, weekend away or saving up to buy something you really want. While you work towards this goal, and as you make measurable steps towards it, it gives you a sense of achievement and it boosts morale. Don’t choose something that is too hard or dependent on external factors (such as a holiday overseas while traveling is restricted).
Remember, this too shall pass. While we might not be the same afterwards, we human beings have the amazing ability to overcome great obstacles. We’ve survived similar epidemics, wars and have shown great growth afterwards. Use this time as an opportunity for change and growth.