How to Handle Stress and Anxiety During a Pandemic

A working knowledge of different mental health implications can help us understand and address the mental health risks of this global health pandemic. In a situation like this one, it is easy to become obsessive about disease prevention, especially for those with OCD who already experience contamination obsessions. Social distancing is considered critical to slowing the spread of the coronavirus. However, it can understandably lead to loneliness. Numerous studies have shown the adverse mental health and physical impacts of loneliness, including the potential to trigger a depressive episode.  

With the awareness of these mental health risks, we can work towards coping with this challenging situation and reduce the potential impact on our mental health. Here is a list of coping strategies to help get you through these uncertain times.

Reframe “I am stuck inside” to “I can finally focus on my home and myself”

As dismal as the world may feel right now, think of the mandated work-from-home policy as an opportunity to refocus your attention from the external to the internal. Doing one productive thing per day can lead to a more positive attitude.

Be Mindful Of Your News Consumption

Rely on only one or two reliable sources of news as misinformation and bad reporting are rampant. The CDC is a great resource for updates and precautions. You can also select a news medium that allows you to avoid potentially triggering content.

Stay Close to Your Normal Routine

Wake up and go to bed around the same time, eat meals, shower, adapt your exercise regimen, and get out of your PJ’s. Do laundry on Sundays as usual. Not only will sticking to your normal routine keep you active and less likely to spiral, it will be easier to readjust to the outside world when it’s time to get back to work.

Stay Connected

Stay connected with friends and family by Skype, Facetime, email, messenger and text, especially those who may be isolated. Be ready to listen to their concerns and share yours. Learn effective listening skills to help your friends and loved ones.

Take Care Of Yourself

It’s essential to make your health a priority during this time. The critical self-care activities are sleep, physical exercise and a healthy diet. Find ways to address forms of stress, such as journaling, going for walks or calling a loved one. Maintaining a sense of normality and routine can also reduce stress.

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