Let’s face it: coronavirus is scary. You may not be afraid of the virus itself; in fact, you may believe that if you’re young and healthy, you don’t have to worry about it killing you. However, you may worry about society’s reaction to it. Everyone is blaming everything for the virus. Businesses are being shut down.
You may worry about your job or have already felt its effects. If you have kids, they may not be at school anymore and you have even more on your plate. And if you wanted to escape and go on a vacation or go to a certain event, there’s a good chance that you can’t anymore.
It’s quite a mess out there, and managing all the stress and anxiety that comes with it can be a challenge. A bit of stress is good, but when you’re always feeling stressed out, it can have a negative impact on your health. Here are some ways to manage stress.
1. Balance Out Your Information
With situations like these, you walk a tricky tightrope. On one hand, you do want to stay in the loop for more information and to see if there are any closings, if there are any cases in your area, or anything else that you need to worry about.
On the other hand, the constant stream of information can be stressful and make you anxious, especially if you are getting information from social media and are always hearing doom and gloom.
You should stay informed, but make sure you have a balance. Take some time away from the information. Don’t look at your phone too close to bedtime unless you want to stay up all night. If someone on your Facebook or Twitter is posting anxiety-inducing statuses, unfollow or mute them for a little while. Be informed, but be selective.
2. Know Who is At The Most Risk of Anxiety
Besides yourself, taking care of family members is important. There are certain family members who may be more at risk from the anxiety and stress caused by this crisis. These include:
- Older family members or those who are immunocompromised. They have a higher chance of being sick should they catch the disease, and they may worry.
- Children, while they are less likely to catch COVID-19 and have serious consequences, are still at risk for stress. They may be uncertain of what’s going to happen. While they may be happy if their school gets canceled, they may still worry or be upset that they can’t see their friends.
- Furthermore, children can express themselves in different ways. Some may “act out” more, or regress to an earlier stage of life, to show their fear. Some will cry or show their emotions, but others will do so in a new behavior that you haven’t seen before.
- Teenagers as well. Their plight is similar to children, where they may miss their friends. A teen may also worry about what the future will bring. As an emerging adult, they may worry if they’ll be able to enter the world normally.
- Medical professionals. These people may work with those who are affected and have worry they’ll catch the disease, or feel overstressed at what is going on.
- Someone whose job is affected by the virus. Whether they had to take a pay cut or have to leave, they may be stressed about finances and other losses due to the virus.
3. The Problem With Too Much Stress
As we said in the beginning, the virus can sometimes not be the most dangerous part. It’s all the stress and anxiety that it causes. Here are some side effects.
- Problems sleeping. You may be up worrying about the virus, tossing and turning as you do so. Not getting too much sleep due to worrying about being sick can ironically make your immune system worse, make it hard to concentrate, and you have to deal with other health problems too.
- You may turn to drugs and alcohol to help with your stress. This can have a negative impact on your overall health, and it might lead to an addiction. If you’re financially strained as it is, drugs and alcohol can put a blow on your finances.
- If you have mental health problems already, they can get worse. Someone who already has anxiety may have more panic and anxiety attacks as a result of the reaction to the virus. If you’re paranoid about something happening to you, you may worry that you’re being taken away to get quarantined. Those who are depressed can fall into a deeper depression.
4. Staying Healthy
It’s time to take care of your health even more. Don’t be afraid to run outside. If you run at a park or in another place with little human contact, you should be fine. Eat good meals and exercise. If your gym is closed or you’re worried that the gym will be a petri dish of germs, you can try some home workouts.
Working out and eat right can help with your anxiety and stress, giving you an outlet to release some of the emotions.
5. Meditate and Be Mindful
Through meditative breathing and mindfulness, you may be able to treat your anxiety, depression, and keep your mind off worrying about the future. Controlled breathing, body scans, and observing the world around you are just a few ways that you can try mindfulness, a practice found in many Eastern religions and philosophies.
Look up a guide on how to be mindful. Anyone of any age can do it, and once you master it, it can help with various mental and physical health problems. You’ll be glad you learned about it once you’ve mastered how to do it.
6. Seek Help
In times like these, speaking to a therapist or counselor is a very good move to make. With so many jobs going remote, online therapy is growing more popular. A therapist can now help you from their own home, and you can get help at your house as well.
There are many therapy outlets out there, and one of them is BetterHelp. It helps with anxiety, depression, stress, or anything else that your family is going through. Because it’s all online, it can help with the costs, too.