Ironically, feeling stressed not only feels bad, but increases the risk for becoming ill. Here’s how to cope. The spread of the coronavirus Around the globe is creating a new age of anxiety and it’s no surprise.
With airports filled with travelers in masks, stores selling out of disinfectant and public health officials urging people to prepare for the bug to disrupts daily life, the national level of worry seems to be off the charts.
Mental health experts emphasized it’s normal, and potentially even helpful, to feel anxious at this time.
“Anxiety, when it’s at the right level, encourages us to take positive action.
“It’s OK to have that moment of panic because, in a way, if you can move beyond that, you can start making adequate precautions.”
The problem comes when people start stewing in their fear.
The anxiety is being driven by collective uncertainty over what will happen, even though evidence so far shows the new virus causes mild symptoms in most cases. People may experience everything from feeling nervous as they watch the news, to experiencing panic when they’re near somebody who coughs or sneezes, he noted. It doesn’t matter if the person with sniffles is someone affected by allergy season.
The best treatment for anxiety is often positive action, Harding noted.
Here are some simple steps you can take right now to feel better:
1. Take a media break
Don’t immerse yourself in news about the coronavirus 24/7. “You have to stop scouring social media and the internet for the latest twists and turns.
2. Practice good self-care
Get plenty of nutrients by eating fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. “We know that sleep has a direct impact on the immune system. So you can take all the vitamin C you want, but if you’re sleep deprived, your immune system is compromised.
“Although those things seem very benign — they don’t seem as potent as putting on a face mask — they are things all of us can do to stay as healthy and as infection-free as possible
3. Go for a walk outside
Time spent in nature is soothing for the mind and body. Sunlight may lower your blood pressure, research has found. “If you can, get a little sunshine during your day. Take a stroll. Take a deep breath.
4. Write down your worries
Seeing the words on paper or on a screen may stop you from spinning yourself into a frenzy.
5: Send a little love to people who you care about
Put together a text message chain or email chain with family on it that way you can have it set up before it feels like an emergency situation and easily communicate with your loved ones. “We’re definitely not in this alone.”