The COVID-19 pandemic might be easing its grip on the world, but the mental health issues it’s caused are genuine. Unfortunately, they’re also still very present for many people.
As a society, we’ve had to live over a year with this pandemic. Throughout that time, advice has changed. Restrictions have gone into place. They’ve been lifted. Mandates have been ordered. They’ve been lifted. You might know someone who contracted the virus, or you might have strong opinions about vaccines.
Needless to say, there’s plenty to be stressed about when it comes to COVID-19. As the world starts to reopen, there are even new anxieties about returning to work or simply spending time in public. But, no matter what aspect of the pandemic has fueled your anxiety, it’s important to know you’re not alone.
It’s just as important to know that you don’t have to keep living in fear or let your anxiety control you. So, how can you cope with COVID-19 anxiety and keep moving forward?
Acknowledge How You Feel
One of the biggest mistakes you want to avoid is pushing down your feelings or ignoring your emotions. They will demand to be felt, one way or another. By acknowledging your fears and worries, you can start to work through them. You’ll also feel more validated.
It can help to practice mindfulness throughout the day. Pause and take a few deep, calming breaths. Focus on the present moment rather than stresses of the past or worries about the future. Deep breathing can make a big difference.
Take Media Breaks
One major factor that has boosted anxiety throughout the pandemic is the amount of content people have consumed. It can feel impossible to escape the news about COVID at any given time. If it’s not on television, it’s on social media.
Unfortunately, because there is so much noise, it’s sometimes hard to differentiate fact from fiction. So while you should keep yourself informed and educated about the pandemic, it’s also okay to take breaks. Turn off the news and stay off of social media for a few hours each day. Use that time to clear your mind and focus on other things.
Take Care of Your Health
When you’re dealing with anxiety, it’s easy to let self-care completely go. But that’s undoubtedly going to make things worse. Instead, make your mental and physical health a priority, especially when you’re overwhelmed. Stay as physically active as possible.
Exercise is a natural mood-booster and can even improve your overall feelings of happiness. It also fights against some of the most common anxiety symptoms and can boost your self-esteem, so you’ll be better equipped to handle anxious thoughts. For your mental health, try writing in a journal, meditating, and choosing to do something that promotes your well-being each day.
Connect With Others
Social isolation and loneliness have also caused major mental health problems throughout the pandemic. If you’re feeling anxious, being alone can be even worse.
Again, you’re not the only one feeling this way. So, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone for support. Talk to a family member, friend, or even consider joining a support group of people who can talk you through your fears. Knowing you’re not alone can give you more confidence and self-awareness to manage your symptoms.
If you still have trouble coping daily, feel free to contact us. The COVID-19 pandemic is still a very real concern, and the anxiety that can stem from it is valid. Together, we can get to the true underlying cause(s) of your anxiety and work through even more effective ways to cope.