Anxiety and Ways to Cope
Recommendations to Cope with the Coronavirus Anxiety
It is normal to feel anxious while undergoing a situation like Coronavirus that threatens not only our health but also our beloved ones’. Such anxiety is necessary at some level and motives us for taking essential measures
Our anxiety also increases as a result of uncertainty arises from the questions like “Will I or my beloved one be infected?”, “How much will it spread?”, or the duration and types of the measures. However, thinking again and again about the questions that we cannot know the answers will not go any further than increasing our anxiety for no reason. Therefore, rather than trying to eliminate this uncertainty, accepting and focusing on what we know now will be better. For example, rather than focusing on the question “Will the virus be over?”, it is better to focus on the question “What can I do to decrease the risk of carrying the disease?”.
In some cases, a person might become too anxious and anxiety might lose its protective function. Our mind might remain too busy about the situation even if we take all the measures. If you think you are too anxious;
- First of all, remind yourself that this is a natural protection mechanism. Do not aim to reduce your anxiety to zero. Try to keep it at a level that will not tire you too much but help you to take the right steps.
- There is too much unreliable information on social media. We know that overexposing this unreliable information will increase anxiety.
- Try to stay away from the people and the sources that get you into a panic.
- Only read the posts of reliable sources on social media. Experts and scientific sources are always the best options.
- Try to do something that you think will comfort you, even if it does not make you feel so for that moment
- Talk to someone who you know he or she remains calm. If it feels good for you, talk about your anxiety, if it does not, talk about something else.
- Spend time for an activity you like doing. Try reading books, playing games, watching films, painting or whatever is good for you.
- It is also natural at first not to enjoy the activities that are tried to manage the rush of overcoming anxiety and are thought to give pleasure. It shows that you cannot focus on the activity because of your anxiety and your anxiety has still not been soothed enough.
- Eating or drinking something light and doing light exercises also help you to soothe your anxiety. While you are feeling anxious, doing such things might seem void, however, if you try, your anxiety will decrease. You can find the relation techniques here.
Social Isolation and Anxiety
As much as Coronavirus itself, measures that are taken also bring along some anxieties. As education was suspended and social distancing warnings are made, it seems that we will spend long hours in our homes. This situation also brings the anxiety of not feeling well when we are not busy with something and/or our social life is limited.
- Do not close yourself to the outside world during the time you stay at home. Technology enables activities such as group talks or video talks in a virtual environment, so keep in touch with your family and friends.
- Do not stay still during this time. Inactivity will affect your health negatively and also make you feel depressed. Be sure to move at home or -unless otherwise indicated- at open spaces that can be safe (e.g. an uncrowded park) even for a short time.
- Constantly spending time at home, getting up in the morning and not going to work or school might negatively affect your sleeping patterns. Impairments in your sleeping patterns will affect your physical and mental health. Even if you do not have anything to do, try not to spend most of the daytime with sleeping.
- Try to continue your routine before this new order but by transforming them.
We have the power and resources to cope with such kind of physically and mentally stressful situations. Sometimes anxiety or some other negative feelings and circumstances might make us feel that we do not have access to these resources. We can overcome this temporary process more easily if we remind ourselves of our own strength, get support of people around us and give our support to them.
It is something to learn and takes time to cope with anxiety and adapt to such major changes. You will find out things that are good for you by trying and experience. However, if your anxiety level prevents you from maintaining your daily life, you might consider getting professional help. You can contact to Psychological Counseling Unit to get information.
ISTANBUL BILGI UNIVERSITY PSYCHOLOGICAL COUNSELING UNIT
Phone: 0212 311 76 74
(Service is provided only for Istanbul Bilgi University students and staff.)