During these trying times, where the COVID-19 outbreak has been declared pandemic, not only your physical health is at risk but your mental health as well. This being said, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a series of measures to ensure the condition of your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak.
1. Pay attention to what you read
Unfortunately, social media is full of fake news that can only contribute to panic attacks. In case you’re one of those who suffer from panic attacks, it would be better if you avoid visiting social media sites and just visit news sites instead. In this case, you can effectively control your anxiety.
2. Get a social media detox!
As mentioned earlier, social media can cause panic disorders. Reading unverified news can lead to anxiety and despair, which is why it is better if you get a social detox and just focus on watching the news on TV, reading a newspaper, or engaging in other hobbies.
3. Wash your hand frequently BUT not excessively
In this time of coronavirus, people are advised about frequent handwashing, as it is an effective way to spare yourself from getting the virus. However, people with compulsive handwashing tend to perform excessive and repetitive washing of their hands in an attempt to relieve severe distress associated with obsessive and irrational fears of contamination. The problem with this is the fact that repeated handwashing can cause marked skin changes in the hand or trigger pre-existing skin conditions.
4. Keep in touch with family and friends
Since the government has implemented the restricted public movements in an aim to contain the spreading of the virus, take this time as the opportunity to stay in touch with your family and friends. If you can’t be with them physically, bond with them virtually. You can either send them emails or video call and chat with them to ensure they are doing well.
5. Look on the brighter side of life
The coronavirus pandemic can really cause anxiety to the people, but instead of dwelling on the negativities, look on the brighter side of things. Also, it is important to be cautious, eat healthily, perform proper hygiene, exercise at home, and the like.
In addition, Anxiety UK also encourages everyone to start practicing the APPLE technique.
A – Acknowledge: Notice and acknowledge the uncertainty as it comes to mind.
P- Pause: When dealing with things, it is important to not react as you normally do. Do not react at all. Just pause and breathe.
P – Pull back: Take a step back. When you encounter a problem, tell yourself that worrying is not helpful nor necessary. Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are not statements or facts.
L – Leg go: Let go of some thoughts or feelings. Tell yourself that everything will be put to an end one day. Don’t respond to your negative thoughts, everything will pass.
E – Explore: Explore the present moment. Notice your breathing as well as the sensation of your breathing. Look around and pay attention to what you see, what you hear, what you can touch, and what you can smell. Then, focus on other things and find the beauty in it.