I think I was feeling ok when the initial negative impact of Covid-19 hit us. My family in Japan was panicking and asked me to send them supplies, especially masks in January, 2020. Now in summer, 2020, we live in the country with the highest number of death rates over Covid-19.
Some of my friends who are much older than me have not left home since March or so. California did the lock down around that time. It is normal to feel anxious and worry especially when you watch the news which talks about the devastating consequences of Covid-19 and the medical crisis many hospitals are experiencing in many states in the US now.
And this is a difficult time if you already have an anxiety disorder. This pandemic crisis will take your anxiety to the next level.
We watch the news and many of us feel even more helpless that nothing can be done. Everyday we have to just live with uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 and you may be unemployed because of this or you are an essential worker.
Media tends to report anything in dramatic tones and I am not saying that we shouldn’t trust the news sources. These journalists are doing an awesome job, but all the news tend to report Covid-19 in a way that doesn’t help already anxious people.
People with anxiety disorder may catastrophic this crisis and for them, everything is overwhelming right now. It is scary, but there are things that we can do to bring your calm and to live mindfully despite the Covid-19 not being resolved right away.
Here are some tips that I do for myself.
- I try to limit the news to 30 minutes a day. Otherwise, they tend to report the same negative things and it can start to affect you mentally.
- Acknowledge that the world is currently dealing with the pandemic and that eventually vaccination will be out and we will be ok. This acceptance piece is critical for your mental wellbeing.
- Focus on the things you have control over (washing hands, using sanitizers, not hugging your friends, social distancing..) and let go of the rest that you have no control over
- If you feel overwhelmed and nervous, reach out to your supportive friends or family who can listen to you and start a conversation about this.
- Do you best to live a healthy lifestyle so even if you are exposed to Covid, you will be ok.
- Remember that nothing is permanent in life.
- remind yourself that you have been doing your best.
#3 is especially important that we all focus on what we and our family members can do to help ourselves. We cannot always control the president or Covid-19 but we can listen to your body and mind. If the anxiety is high, I highly recommend that you download the calm app (membership required) to listen at least 5 times a day and also seek counseling.
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