The anxiety and fear caused by the global pandemic COVID-19 are alarming. Not just the virus but the stress, anxiety and fear a result of the current situation can cause a huge impact on the overall health of the patient. In such times, a person needs to follow some simple measures to cope with fear.
Foremost, it is important to gain complete knowledge of the disease. Coronavirus is a term used for a family for viruses, which tend to affect the respiratory tracts of mammals and birds. They can also affect humans and cause problems such as cold, cough, pneumonia, bronchitis, critical acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The virus can also affect the gut and is typically found in animals and rare cases are transmitted from animals to humans, which further leads to spread from one human to another.
The recent outbreak from this family of viruses is the COVID-19, which is caused by an infection of SARS-CoV 2. The disease which began in Wuhan, China has now spread worldwide, causing a global panic. That said, amidst, rising panic, it is important to note that one cannot be infected with the virus unless there has been close contact with someone who has been inflicted with the Coronavirus.
However, some people are at more risk of contracting the virus than others. These include:
- Older people
- People with chronic illness
- People with existing health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
- Children and teenagers
- Anyone with a compromised or a weak immune system
- People helping curb the COVID-19 situation such as doctors, police, first respondents, etc.
- People with a mental health condition especially problems related to drug abuse
10 effective ways to cope with coronavirus anxiety and fear
Make a schedule: Given the leisure time available because of the lockdown applied due to COVID-19, a person is more likely to fall prey to negative thoughts. This can ultimately lead to stress, fear and anxiety. Hence, it is important to make use of idle time by maintaining a schedule. Ensure you plan your day and keep hours allotted for every activity such as household chores, cooking, sleeping, hobbies, exercising, etc. Prepare a schedule and ensure you follow it every day. However, you should be very rigid and allow for certain flexibilities.
Take up a hobby: Overcome all the anxiety by refocusing your energies onactivities and hobbies which interest you. You can choose to write, read a book, create a photo album, browse through all memories, solve puzzles, indulge in singing or dancing, etc. Any sort of activity which helps one relieves the fear by diverting the mind.
Stop watching the news: It is one thing to be updated about the current pandemic situation and completely another to be obsessed with it and let the information cause fear and anxiety. So it is best to take a small break from all the negative news and media. Hence, you must maintain distance from consistent news updates and media glare on the global pandemic situation. Keeping the latest developments and news at bay will help relieve some stress from the mind and allow you to focus your energies elsewhere.
Indulge in charity: The best way to overcome fear and anxiety in such bizarre times is to help the most vulnerable and affected by the situation. Indulging in any charitable work such as donations, money funds, ration supplies, etc. can help you generate some positivity and thus, look at the brighter side of recovery from COVID-19.
Talk more with people: Healthy interactions can have a very strong influence on the mind. Thus, when feeling too anxious in these times, you can always fall back on your friends and family.Take time to call your old friends, reconnect with more people, engage in healthy conversations and reach out to your family. You could use texting, FaceTime, Whatsapp calls, or any other medium you prefer, including social media and get your social dose virtually to keep the spirits from sinking.
Sleep and rest well: Even though anxiety and fear might hamper your sleep, you must focus on getting more rest possible for the body. Since the lockdown, there is an abundance of idle time, which can be perfectly utilized to rejuvenate the body from all the years of stress and running behind goals. Spend your days doing exactly what you love and what keeps you motivated. Also, important is to release the stress by getting enough hours of sleep and taking rest or power naps, per choice.
Pray and meditate: Take this time to reflect on the good things in life, be grateful for everything positive and try to push out the negativity thoughts by meditating. Also, another healing form is turning to prayer to re-connect with the almighty power and seek strength. Prayer and meditation have a very positive influence on the brain cells and help one to calm and relax while instilling hope.
Eat healthy: Even though cravings will sink in during the lockdown period, but with all restaurants and food joints closed, this is probably the best time to clean your body of external toxins. So, focus on eating a healthy and nutritious diet comprising green vegetables, a good amount of vitamins, proteins, etc. Moreover, remember to not indulge in emotional eating due to stress. Also, avoid foods which can trigger stress; keeping healthy snacks and nuts handy are always a good idea to relieve stress. Refrain from alcohol, tobacco, smoking, drugs or any other similar products. Moreover, it is important to boost your immunity in such times; hence, one must consumer ginger-garlic water, turmeric, and more immunity boosters.
Exercise Regularly: Even though gyms and other physical training centres are closed, yet one must not give up exercising. Regular exercising of any form can be taken up at home such as aerobics, walking, running, HIIT, climbing stairs, yoga, etc. Also, in case you have exercise types of equipment at home, it is advisable to indulge in a full workout session at least thrice a week. Regular exercising not only helps to keep the physical weight in check but also boost immunity while simultaneously helping to clear the head and relieve stress from the body. Exercising releases endorphins, which are hormones that help the body feel better and positive.
Be Prepared: A very effective way to calm your mind and beat the anxiety is to be prepared for the novel coronavirus. Even though there is no cure or vaccination as of yet to fight the virus, but maintaining strong immunity and following strict precautions can help one to keep the problem at bay. Follow respiratory hygiene, follow social distancing, weak your masks, go out only when necessary, etc. will help you feel more at ease since you are at minimum exposure levels. Moreover, working through the implications of staying at home can help one feel more prepared than fearful. Sort out your work requirements, talk to your employer, understand your medical benefits and generally be prepared but nor worried.
It is true, these times can cause a lot of mental load but if handled properly, it is easy to navigate and stay calm and composed. Seek medical help if needed.