As the world navigates COVID-19’s second wave of cases, it’s no wonder most of us are keeping an anxious eye on the news. The uncertainty of when this situation will end, and what it means for us in the meantime, is on everyone’s mind.
It’s no wonder most people are having a hard time navigating this uncertainty. The ever-changing situation, compounded by physical isolation from loved ones and a drastic change in our daily routines, has left a lot of people struggling with anxiety and panic attacks.
Strategies to Manage Coronavirus Anxiety
Whether you’ve lived with an anxiety disorder for years or are experiencing panic attacks for the first time during the pandemic, these tips can help you manage your COVID anxiety without it derailing your life.
- Do daily breathing exercises. This can help manage everyday anxieties and prevent panic attacks before they start.
- Get daily exercise. Physical activity is a great way to reduce stress and boost your mood.
- Keep your blood pressure and blood sugar stable to prevent mood swings. Eating regular meals and avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco can help with this.
- Prioritize rest. Stick to a sleep routine and take small breaks throughout the day.
- Monitor your media consumption. If you find yourself glued to the news, take a break. Switch to a comforting TV show. Better yet, take a break from screens and pick up your favorite book instead.
- Try meditating. There’s a wide variety of meditation practices and apps, so take your time finding the right one for you. Choose a practice that’s approachable and easy to do. The last thing you want to do is stress yourself out trying to de-stress! Keep the mood light, and don’t put pressure on yourself to meditate “perfectly.”
- Treat yourself to a good book. Stories have been a source of comfort in hard times throughout history. Browse your public library’s website for eBooks and audiobooks.
- Use social media to your advantage. Stay connected with the friends and family you’re seeing less due to pandemic restrictions. Set up a Zoom call or send them a quick message. Reducing your feelings of isolation will also help reduce your anxiety.
If you’re experiencing panic attacks right now, it’s important to honor your feelings while recognizing where those feelings are coming from. The heightened fear you feel is coming from an identifiable source: the pandemic. Remembering that can help put a name to your anxieties rather than steeping in dread. And taking steps to manage your everyday anxiety will help you navigate life’s stressors instead of living in a state of fear.
If you’re consistently feeling anxious and repeatedly getting panic attacks, remember that help is available. The counselors at McLean Counseling can help you overcome your COVID-related anxiety and keep living a happy life.