Eight ways of reducing coronavirus related anxiety
1. Follow reliable information channels such as national public health institutes. Rumours exaggerations and worst case scenarios increase worry.
2. Follow practical advice on hand hygiene, and avoid touching the face
3. Keep in touch with friends and family and ask for help if needed
4. Keep calm with the help of your usual daily routines, mealtimes and exercise. You can also try relaxation exercises to calm the mind and body
5. Predict worrying situations. It is natural to feel worry in response to news on epidemics. The situation can feel worse if one already has a mental health difficulty – and this is a good thing to acknowledge. Alcohol or drug use may make symptoms worse. It is also good to find a suitable balance in checking up on news reports.
6. Listen to children’s concern about the virus, it is important to figure out what they know about the virus and how they experience the current situation. Teaching children how to avoid the virus can help, and explaining what type of help is at hand. It may be useful to explain what words such as epidemic, or quarantine actually mean in an age appropriate manner.
7. Be empathic towards people who have been subjected to the virus and be careful not to stigmatise. It is good to remember that Covid-19 is only one of many viruses one can be subjected to. We live with these on a daily basis without alarm.
8. Talk about your worries. National helplines are most certainly available, make use of them and share these to anyone else who may be worried too.
If you need support, please find national helplines here.