At the moment, it feels like every time you turn on the news or check social media the most recent update on coronavirus fills your screen. You hear people speaking about it at bus stops and in cafés. You see people walking around the streets wearing masks and notice the empty supermarket shelves where hand sanitizers once sat.
So what actually is coronavirus? Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that can cause a range of symptoms from mild (like the common cold, cough, fever) to severe (pneumonia, kidney failure, and even death). The strain that is currently spreading like wildfire is known as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Naturally, anxiety levels can peak at a time like this. There is so much uncertainty about the situation, particularly as we don’t know much about the novel coronavirus yet (novel means ‘new,’ after all, and corona means ‘crown’). So how do you combat your anxiety at a time like this? Here are our top 7 tips to help you stay calm during the coronavirus crisis.
1. Be Proactive
First, make sure to follow the advice given by the CDC and WHO on practicing proper hygiene standards. This way you can rest assured you are taking the necessary steps needed to protect yourself and others from spreading the virus. Just knowing you are taking the appropriate measures (washing your hands, staying at home if you are sick etc) can immediately take a weight off your shoulders.
2. Limit Your News & Social Media Exposure
It’s important to be informed, but if you are finding that watching the news or constantly seeing updates on your phone are making your anxiety worse, limit your exposure. Only visit trusted sources for your information if and when you need it.
3. Practice Meditation
The world is always throwing something big and scary your way. Coronavirus is not the first and it certainly won’t be the last. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the impending sense of doom around this outbreak. Meditating won’t change the reality of the situation, but it can help you develop a sense of calm that can help you weather the storm so to speak. If you are new to meditation, following a guided option.
4. Don’t Forget to Breathe!
Along with your meditation practice, include some deep belly breathing. As simple as it sounds, taking a few deep breaths will switch your nervous system from the anxiety of fight or flight mode (sympathetic) to the rest and digest mode (parasympathetic). Try it for 5 minutes and see how different you feel!
5. Maintain Social Contact, Even if You Are Stuck Indoors
Even if you do have to stay somewhat isolated, if you are sick or at high risk of getting sick, make sure to continue to seek out some social interaction. This can be by Facetime or Skype to talk to friends and family. If you are finding that none of the steps you are taking to manage your fears and anxiety are working, don’t be afraid to reach out to a therapist, particularly one that offers online services.
6. Put Things In Perspective
Remember that certain groups are most at risk from the complications of developing coronavirus – those with a pre-existing condition, the eldery and anyone with a compromised immune system. To them, coronavirus can be fatal. However, the majority of the population will be able to recover from it if they have a healthy immune system. Even if you contract the virus, there is a strong likelihood you will recover and be completely fine.
7. Keep Your Immune System Strong
Taking some simple steps to boost your immune system can also help keep you feeling calm right now. The best ways to do so is to ensure you are getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, eating a fresh varied diet, avoiding tobacco and moderating alcohol intake. Chyavanprash is a well loved immune tonic in Ayurveda, and you can also sip this Immune Boosting Ginger Turmeric Tea daily.
So while coronavirus is scary, worrying won’t help! In fact, there are studies showing the connection between chronic stress and lowered immunity, so staying calm is key. If you feel you need some additional support to help alleviate your anxieties, stay calm and support your immunity, get in touch! Schedule a complimentary consult today for more personalized techniques on how to manage your anxiety.