COVID-19: How To Minimise Anxiety During The Coronavirus Pandemic
It is perfectly normal that people are feeling anxious during the current pandemic, however, it is important to keep fear and worries in perspective and to take care of your physical and mental health.
Read on for our tips on how to minimise anxiety during the Coronavirus pandemic…
Avoid Rumours and Fake News
Stay informed but try to minimise exposure to the constant stream of available newsfeed which can heighten anxiety and aggravate stress levels. It is important for your own safety and the welfare of others to be aware of the most recent guidelines, but obtain the latest facts from reliable sources and check updates only a couple of times a day. There has been a lot of misinformation spread on social media and in the newspapers since the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Reputable sources of information can be found at
NHS.uk and Gov.uk.
Try to maintain/create regular daily routines. Have a rough plan of each day with goals, however small, that you want to achieve. Include tasks to complete but pencil in leisure time to pursue hobbies and interests, make time to relax. Routines help you to feel in control. Check out our video on how to set goals.
If you are working/studying from home, consider using different techniques to help you to stay focused, check out the The Pomodoro Method for example and Time Management Techniques. It is essential to plan regular working hours and separate your working life from the remainder of your day. Try to have a designated work space to help you be more productive.
The mental health charity ‘Mind’ has some useful information and tips about working from home. Keep up regular contact with work colleagues, tutors or fellow students, share problems and seek advice when needed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Try to eat a well balanced diet, stick to regular meal times and healthy snacks. A poor diet low in essential nutrients and low blood sugar can contribute towards feelings of anxiety. Experiment with new recipes, try websites such as Pure Wow and Vegan Recipe Club.
As always stay hydrated, try to drink the recommended six to eight glasses of water every day. Try filling a glass or container and keeping it with you to remind you to drink regularly.
Take regular exercise. It is as important as ever to stay fit and look after your own health, but it can be fun and releases natural feel-good endorphins that boost your mood. Take a look at some of our suggestions for keeping fit while on lockdown in our COVID-19: Ideas For Exercise post. If you have a Fitbit use it to track your activity and complete its hourly ‘get moving’ routine, if not set an alarm and carry out a short exercise routine every hour.
Use technology to maintain social contacts, it is so important in these times of minimal physical contact to stay in regular touch with friends and family. It is easier than ever to call by phone, text or email. You can video call friends individually or create group get-togethers using various apps. Some of our favourites are Zoom, Houseparty and Whatsapp
In the current situation you probably have a lot more spare time at home, for instance there is time gained in the day by not having a daily commute. Use this to explore new hobbies, sign up for a course, learn a language, finish that book you just haven’t had time to read. You could even learn to play an instrument, Fender is offering three months of free guitar lessons.
There are lots of relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga, deep breathing, visualisation methods, Tai-Chi etc that can help to deal with chronic anxiety and stress. There is a wealth of information, instructional videos online and free apps available to help with this, everyone is an individual and some methods work better for some than others. However, relaxing can also mean spending time with people you live with or calling a friend, listening to music, reading a book, watching your favourite television show. Take time out to wind down.
Sleep is important. Have a regular sleep pattern built in to your daily routine and try to keep to it. Stress, anxiety, lack of exercise and a poor diet can all contribute to poor sleep quality. Try to relax and wind down before retiring to bed, reading stimulating information and being exposed to ‘blue light’ from smartphones and laptops can also be detrimental to a restful night. If you struggle with sleeping, have a warm bath before bed, curl up with a book, try some relaxation/breathing exercises.
Although we have no control over what is happening currently in the world, we can control to some extent, how we deal with it. Stay safe and calm and boost your immune system and take care of your mental health by following some of our advice and tips. However, if you feel that fear and anxiety are spiralling out of control, talk to someone or seek further professional support. This pandemic is unprecedented in our lifetime, but it is important to take deep breaths and remember that it is temporary and eventually will pass.
Further reading and support