HOW TO MENTALLY FIGHT STRESS AND FEAR
It has been reported that people with a history of some adversity maintained better mental health and well-being outcomes compared to people with no history of adversity. Fears and stress, especially with our current situation now about COVID-19, can take an emotional toll, but you are not powerless. These tips can help you get through this stressful time.
1. Understanding your anxiety
For many people, the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus is the hardest thing to handle. We don’t know how we’ll be impacted. Fear of the unknown is what makes people anxious and this is especially true in today’s climate with concerns about coronavirus growing. The unknown makes us uneasy because we feel out of control. Identify that we may be unable to answer questions on when this will end but we do know that this will end one day. Our authorities and experts around the world are taking action to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
Remember, this is NOT the first epidemic that we have faced around the world. We have survived before, and we can overcome this too.
2. Stay informed
Seek information updates at specific times during the day once or twice. It’s important to stay informed about what’s happening in your community, so you can follow advised safety precautions and do your part. But limit how often you check for updates.
Constant monitoring of news can fuel anxiety. Step away from the media if you start feeling overwhelmed. A sensible balance is important here.
3. Focus on the things you can control
When you feel yourself getting caught up in the fear of what might happen, try to shift your focus to things you can control.
For example, you can’t control how severe the coronavirus outbreak, but you can take steps to reduce your own personal risks, such as washing your hands frequently with soap and water, avoiding touching your face (particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth), staying home as much as possible, even if you don’t feel sick, avoiding crowds and gatherings of 10 or more people.
4. Stay connected
The biggest thing that most people can do right now to make a positive difference is to practice social distancing. But we’re inherently wired for connection. Isolation and loneliness can increase anxiety, and even impact our physical health. That’s why it’s important to stay connected. Make it a priority to stay in touch with friends and family. Think about scheduling regular phone calls, online chats, or Skype dates.
5. Take care of your body and spirit
Maintain a routine as best you can. Even if you’re stuck at home, try to stick to your regular sleep, meal, or work schedule. This can help you maintain a sense of normality. Take time out for the activities you enjoy and find ways to exercise. Staying active will help you release anxiety, relieve stress, and manage your mood. Eat well and maintain and even increase your natural immunity.
6. Help others
At times like this, it’s easy to get caught up in your own fears and concerns, but it’s important to remember that we’re all in this together. It’s no coincidence that those who focus on others in need and support their communities, tend to be happier and healthier. Helping others not only makes a difference to your community, but it can also support your own mental health and well-being. Doing kind and helpful acts for others can add meaning and purpose to your life.
Together we can slow the epidemic of COVID19 and protect our mental health and look forward to normality again, sooner rather than later.