Though enthusiasm about the upcoming availability of COVID-19 vaccines is growing, the pandemic continues to sweep throughout our country and around the globe. And, with the rising infections, many of us are experiencing anxiety and fear in some form. But, the good news is, there are strategies to help yo cope with COVID anxiety.
How to Tell If You Suffer From COVID Anxiety
- Are you worried about maintaining social distancing as the weather moves us indoors?
- Do you feel nervous about how to keep work and school obligations met as the pandemic drags on?
- Perhaps you or your family members are suffering the financial fallout of lockdowns?
In addition to fears about our safety, COVID anxiety touches every aspect of our lives. We’re exhausted and afraid on various levels. We want a return to normalcy. The uncertainty is tough to take. We want a return to normalcy.
Yet, life must go on and it’s vital to keep COVID-19 anxiety from taking over our lives. So, where do we go from here?
Consider these healthy coping tactics for combatting pandemic fear and worry:
Key Strategies to Cope with COVID Anxiety
While we have a long way to go, we’ve come a long way from the early uncertainty and confusion of the pandemic’s early days. To keep COVID-19 in perspective, it is important to do your own homework regarding objective, reliable information. Talk to your own physician. Follow the latest guidelines of your community.
Pay Attention to Your Thoughts
Learn to observe and allow your thoughts without self-criticism and self-sabotage is crucial. Give yourself some grace. Allow your mind to catch up with our COVID situation. Create new goals and priorities if you need to.
The goal moving forward? To practice awareness, improve personal stability, remain present, and foster healthy communication in your personal relationships.
How can you do this? Try journaling, meditation or prayer, and sharing with a therapist or trusted loved ones. Encouragement and guidance can help you challenge anxiety and reprocess unhelpful thinking.
Months of social-distancing may make the idea of gathering seem scary, upsetting, or even irresponsible. While we must, take into account the most recent guidelines for interaction, we can reduce the dangers (and associated worries significantly).
Take care to start small steps to ensure you feel comfortable and in control if you’re very anxious. Do the basics: mask up, wash/sanitize your hands, and socially distance. Then, be creative about meeting loved one’s outside in small groups.
Be as Proactive as Possible
If you’re apprehensive about returning to the office or sending your children back to school, you aren’t alone. Staying proactive is key. You will feel empowered when you have a plan to engage those in charge.
Ask your employer what steps and administrators about safety measures, discuss plans for employee/student well-being. Note your recourse should you feel unsafe. Make a detailed plan to implement your own safety measures routinely.
Mind Your Body
Now is the time to boost your health. Regular exercise, diligent nutrition, and vitamin supplementation for your immune health are paramount. Also, notice the tension in your body.
Be aware that anxiety resides in the body as well as the mind. Is your back hurting or your head aching? Are you up nights, unable to rest? Work with a therapist can help you explore the relationship between your thoughts and physical responses. Learn and practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques to ease discomfort as well.
Maintain a Strict Media Diet
Vetted information is helpful. Constant exposure to pandemic headlines is not. In fact, a never-ending news cycle can be a very real contributor to your anxiety. Consider limiting yourself significantly. Step away from the screens for the sake of emotional balance and peace of mind
Take Time to Deal with Your Grief
Loss can create waves of shock, sadness, and negativity. That’s all normal. However, unprocessed grief can lead to depression and further emotional distress. You must give yourself time and space to accept and work through losses attributed to the pandemic. Your grief is likely tied to social, financial, and relational matters. Not to mention losses linked to your sense of contentment and freedom.
It’s okay to grieve. It’s healthy and honest. Permit yourself space and support. You have a right to feel your feelings, rather than bury or avoid them. Working through grief helps provide relief and soothes feelings of powerlessness.
Please Reach Out, You Aren’t Alone
Indeed, we are all in this pandemic together. However, the way you experience it is unique to you. This is not a reason to feel ashamed. It is a reason to seek qualified, compassionate, customized support. Your mental health needs as much care as your physical health.
Let us support you. If you feel these strategies to help you cope with COVID anxiety aren’t enough, we are available to offer teletherapy sessions during the pandemic. Please read more about anxiety treatment. Your wholeness and happiness, needn’t be on hold until vaccinations are available. Let’s work on your peace of mind together. Please reach out soon for an initial consultation.