The coronavirus is taking a toll on our mental and physical health. According to preliminary data, 80% of the texts about the coronavirus can cause anxiety. International experts - psychiatrists and medical psychologists - have named effective ways of self-help.
The burden of isolation, the threat of infection, financial instability and the inability to return to normal life - all this has a negative impact on our collective mental health, writes theguardian.com. What can people do to reduce stress levels?
Admit your anxiety
People deal with anxiety in a variety of ways, from harmless to harmful. “Feelings come and go, and sooner or later they will disappear completely – this is what we need to remind ourselves when we are worried,” says psychiatrist Dr. Richa Bhatia. First of all, he recommends acknowledging your confusion, which is a normal evolutionary response to danger or threat. Bhatia suggests trying to rethink anxiety as "a collection of feelings, thoughts, and emotions" rather than as something that guides our lives.
Worry "on schedule"
If the turmoil becomes overwhelming, Bhatia recommends setting aside some time for it, say 30 minutes a day: "It may seem counterintuitive, but it will help reduce anxiety." The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy claims that setting a daily half-hour "worry period" helps to stay in the present moment throughout the rest of the day. During the allocated time period, it is recommended to analyze disturbing thoughts in order to distinguish: which of them are about what you cannot control, and which ones are about problems that you can influence.
It would also be wise to limit daily news monitoring to a certain period. “If you're losing sleep because of what's going on or can't concentrate on anything other than a threatening situation, you should probably limit the amount of time you spend reading the news. For example, study them once a day,” advises Dr. Ken Duckworth, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. This can be helped by applications that allow you to block certain websites for a certain period of time.
Rethink the situation
Instead of being "stuck in a trap," you were able to calm down and focus on yourself and your home, writes Dr. Aarti Gupta of the American Anxiety and Depression Association. “Doing one productive job a day can lead to a more positive mindset. Concentrate on tasks for which you have not had enough time for a long time, ”she says.
Set quarantine traditions
It can be an early morning walk or daily online communication with family members. “Having something special will help you look forward to each new day,” states Aarti Gupta.
Exercise is “a classic anxiety reduction strategy,” recalls Dr. Duckworth. It can be yoga, cycling, running.
Perform small acts of altruism
Helping others can give you motivation and a sense of control. “Do you have an elderly neighbor to whom you can offer your services? The idea is to get out of the "helpless" role if possible," Duckworth explains.
Observe physical, but not social distancing
“It goes without saying that loneliness is bad for people,” Duckworth admits. Drink coffee with friends online. Call your parents or children every day.
Although, in some ways, the coronavirus is isolating, it is worth remembering that this is a global trend. “People are affected to varying degrees, but everyone is involved, and scientists around the world are working together to find a solution. It unites,” recalls the expert.
Attract more resources
Bhatia emphasizes that meditation and mindful breathing for a couple of minutes several times a day can reduce anxiety. The goal is to bring the mind back to the present moment.