Dealing with Anxiety During a Pandemic
With new positive tests and victims of the COVID-19 pandemic reported and guidance of what activities are recommended or restricted changing constantly, anxiety related to the outbreak is ever increasing. Anxiety is part of life and a normal human reaction to a threat to our health, safety, and well-being. With social distancing and continual uncertainty, managing anxiety may seem close to impossible. It is not impossible and preventative and responsive actions are keys to staying healthy.
Here are seven scientific-based strategies are recommended to help keep COVID-19 anxiety from becoming a problem in its own right and enable you to make it through the pandemic more effectively:
- Practice tolerating uncertainty (ease back on certainty-seeking behaviors)
- Tackle the anxiety paradox (allow and acknowledge anxious thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations)
- Transcend existential anxiety (stay connected and active)
- Don’t underestimate human resiliency (remember that you are more resilient and able to adjust to difficult situations than you think)
- Don’t get sucked into overestimating the threat (we become more anxious when faced with situations that have no clear precedent; limit your exposure to COVID-19 news)
- Strengthen self-care (prioritize sleep, exercise, mindfulness, time in nature, and relaxation techniques)
- Seek professional help if you need it (if anxiety symptoms interfere with work, relationships, routine activities, please seek help from your doctor or a mental health professional)
Please know that VJLAP is here to help in any way possible and will do our best to provide guidance on managing mental health responses in this unprecedented time.
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