Tips for Coping with COVID-19 Anxiety
We are all feeling more anxious about the coronavirus these days. Its on the news 24/7. I was out shopping today and people at my local grocery store, Target and Home Depot were looking for the same items I was…antibacterial soap or wipes or spray. ANYTHING antibacterial… but I guess we waited too long, none to be found anywhere. I bought Kleenex and cold/flu supplies and went home assuming if I caught the virus, I’d need those items.
What can we do to manage anxiety about the coronavirus? Here are some tips:
1. Take Appropriate Action – Take adequate responsible precautions to reduce your risk of exposure. Follow the guidelines set by the CDC. Stay home if you can, don’t attend crowded events or areas. Wash your hands often and don’t touch your face! By following these guidelines, you are taking ACTION to reduce your risk and that will reduce your anxiety.
2. Practice Good Self-Care – Get good sleep, spend time in nature, practice relaxation, meditate, exercise every day even if only 10-15 min., avoid too much caffeine and alcohol as they both disrupt sleep, turn off your “screens” at least 30 min before bed. Good self-care helps to reduce anxiety.
3. Learn to Tolerate Uncertainty – Gradually learn to face the inevitable uncertainties in life and reduce behaviors that seek definitive answers. For example, stop texting people when you want an immediate answer to a question. Or, refrain from searching the internet for information on COVID-19. Limit how much time you watch the news or listen to the radio for updates. Putting limits around these types of behaviors will build your tolerance for uncertainty. We need to accept that we don’t know all the answers and be patient. Constantly seeking reassurance and answers only reinforces anxiety.