The Coronavirus is causing a lot of fear and anxiety amongst people. Some people already suffer from anxiety and are now going into panic mode because of the uncertainty of this virus. Others are experiencing anxiety for the first time and are unsure of how to handle this new stress. This article will provide information on anxiety and how to handle it during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anxiety is defined as “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.’’
Further, some of the well known symptoms of anxiety include:
- Feeling restless or tense
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly
- Feeling weak
- Avoiding places or things that trigger anxiety
- Constant worrying
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
If these symptoms are familiar, you may have an anxiety disorder. Please talk to your doctor about how you are feeling so that they can direct you to proper resources. In the meantime, here are some tips for elevating some of the Coronavirus worry.
Follow the guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Their website is: https://www.cdc.gov/. Some of the guidelines that the CDC placed on their website to protect yourself from the virus are:
Clean your hands often
It is necessary to wash hands with soap and water as often as possible, after being in public places, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
Use hand sanitizer
Water and soap are the best option for hand cleansing. However, if you don't have access to water and soap, use a hand sanitizer that has 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
Teach your children to not touch those areas as well unless they have thoroughly cleaned their hands.
Put as much distance as possible between yourself and others. Don't go out unless necessary. Use pick up and delivery options when available to avoid going into stores.
Stay home if you're sick
It's really simple. If you are not feeling well, stay home. Avoid going out because you will infect others. Wear a mask in your home to avoid infecting your family members.
Cover your face when you cough or sneeze
Use the inside of your elbow to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. If possible, use a tissue and toss it right away. Then immediately wash your hands with soap and water.
Face masks are for people who are sick only. They are to be used so that the sick person doesn't spread the virus to others around them. If you are not sick, you do not need a mask. There are not nearly enough masks to go around for every single well person in the U.S.A.
Disinfect your home/work place often
Disinfect areas that are used often. This includes doorknobs, tables, light switches, countertops, phones, bathrooms, sinks, and faucets. If possible, use soap and water first, then some type of disinfectant spray or wipe.
Taking the steps above will make it possible for you to challenge your anxiety. You will find that you are able to talk yourself out of having a panic attack. Knowing that you are doing everything you can to be safe will give you the confidence to push through and fight your cognitive distortions.
More steps you can take to avoid stressing over the COVID-19 pandemic are:
Detach from the news and latest updates
You don't need to keep track of every single update and news article posted about the Coronavirus. Take some breaks away from reading or watching videos about this virus.
Remember to take extra care of your body
Now that most Masajid have closed, be sure to take time in your day to make your five daily Salat. You need this time to relax and refresh your imaan (faith).
Do some exercises
Take a walk outside alone or with your kids. Do some stretches in the house if it's raining or go up and down the stairs. Find ways to get some exercise in so that you can keep your body healthy during this time.
Eat healthy food
Be sure to eat a well balanced meal with lots of fruits and vegetables. Also, drink lots of water to help keep your body hydrated.
Stay connected with friends and family
Yes, gatherings have been banned, however, you can use video calls to stay in touch with your loved ones.
It's time to clean away the dust and bring out those old board games you've been hiding in storage. Get creative to help distract yourself and your children from the COVID-19 stress. Color, draw, read, write, cook, and just make memories together.
EDIT: As of April 04, 2020 the CDC recommends that everyone should wear a cloth mask or face covering.
How are you dealing with COVID-19 anxiety?