The news is constantly telling you the number of infections locally and worldwide. Store shelves are bare and authorities are shutting down schools, businesses and more. It is getting harder and harder to stay calm and anxiety-free.

It IS possible to lessen your anxiety and to maintain good mental health with these facts

“It’s Okay To Be Worried And Scared”

Counselors and psychologists say anxiety is a perfectly normal response to the situation in our world today.  Some will face more anxiety as we lose some of the freedom we normally have and as we lose control of our ability to go to gyms, restaurants, school and other social situations.

To lessen anxiety, you need to tell yourself that there are things beyond your control and work to accepting it. Counselors have been telling clients that without this first step, it will be harder to adopt self-care measures and the behaviors that can help you cope with the new “temporary” reality.

“Stay Connected With Friends And Family”

The government and public health officials are stressing the need to minimize physical interactions with other people but that doesn’t mean cutting off your connection with them. You can still make a phone call, a text message or Facetime with those you love.  It is important to stay close to those in your Tribe emotionally even if you can’t physically be there in person.  If you do need to get out, helping others can be a great way to stay connected with society.  Helping the elderly with groceries or providing social support to shut-ins is a wonderful way to redirect your energy.

“Make Sure You Have A Daily Routine Going”

It might sound great just chilling out for the next couple of weeks as we wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to subside, but you will get tired of this lifestyle quickly. This can make you irritable, anxious and bored. Self-isolation can become stressful and when it is done with other people, nerves begin to fray. The experts suggest creating a plan on what happens if you do start getting on each other’s nerves. Do you leave the room? Do you write a note to each other and apologize? Figure out a routine for those moments.  It is incredibly important to put your day into a routine of sorts as well. Set up times when you will eat breakfast,  lunch and dinner. Create a workout schedule, a time to go outside to get some fresh air and yes, even watch some TV. Just remember, keep some space between others while doing all this.

 “Perspective! Perspective! Perspective!”

The novel coronavirus is scary and it is creating fear in many people. The news agencies are telling you how many new infections there are and the death rate but don’t forget that most people are only experiencing a mild illness. People are recovering, we will pull through this and it will end.  It is perfectly normal to worry about the worst-case scenario. But don’t forget to remind yourself that most cases are not the worst-case scenario.

“Take An Internet News Break”

It’s easy to jump on the internet and get caught up in all the facts, figures, memes and comments. Some people have been spending hours “researching” the COVID-19 situation and have created more anxiety in their life.  Experts suggest limiting exposure to news and social media to lessen anxiety and fear.  Create a time for news and stick to reputable news sources. Try to stay away from memes, YouTube videos, instead reconnect with some hobbies and loves you may have forgotten about.

“Ask For Help If Needed”

If your anxiety is sky high and you are starting to be overly irritable, you may need some help to deal with the stress and anxiety. Asking for help is the proper thing to do.  There are support groups online that can help you if you cannot control your anxiety.  If you are having too much of a reaction to the daily stress or is having difficulty functioning with daily activities, it is time to ask for help.

Avoiding Anxiety During the COVID-19 Pandemic