Ways to ease anxiety about COVID-19

By Michaela May ’20, Assistant Editor 

Within the last couple of months, everyone’s lives have been turned upside down in the wake of coronavirus spreading rapidly. 

Many schools have closed and switched to remote learning for the rest of the semester. Restaurants have been forced to close or offer take-out only. Annual events have been canceled or postponed. People are finding themselves with fewer hours at work, more hours than they can handle or with no work at all.  

In the midst of all of the chaos, no one knows what is going to turn up next or what restrictions are going to be laid on them. Things are changing by the day. 

Although it is important to recognize the severity of this virus, it is okay to grieve on events you may be missing out on or on the abruptness of what has happened. It is okay to miss your friends, going out to eat, being able to go to classes and work and just your daily routine in general. 

It is to be expected that you will be stressed, anxious or depressed during this time. While staying in self-isolation, how can we possibly handle this excessive amount of anxiety we are feeling? 

Here is a small list I put together of ways we can maintain a calmer lifestyle.

 1) Stop constantly reading about the virus. 

I know of people who are consistently on their phones obsessing over every little detail that comes out whether it has been proven to be true or not. Making yourself worry over all of this is exhausting, makes your head hurt and does not do anything other than make you worry even more. Stick to checking the news about once or twice a day for updates, and then leave it at that. 

2) Keep in contact with people. 

Although you can’t see each other in person anymore (and if you still are and you don’t live with each other, stop it), there is no reason you can’t still keep in contact with your friends and other people you care about. Video chat or call each other. Message each other and play games on Discord. Connect over social media still. I found that after starting to talk to my friends more consistently, I was starting to feel a lot calmer. Keep everyone in your friend group in check, and make sure that you’re all okay. Ask for help when you need it, and give it when you can. 

3) Express how you’re feeling in some way. 

Even if you don’t like to talk to people, releasing your pent-up frustrations and anxieties in some form is a good idea. Write a journal keeping track of what you have been doing and how you’ve been going about the situation. Keep a notepad on your phone if that’s easier.  

If you have a creative outlet such as drawing, do that. Do an at-home workout. Make some new recipes.  

Talk to your pets (or something else if you don’t have pets) about what you’re feeling. This might feel silly, but even though they can’t respond, it might still feel good to say it out loud. 

4) Remember that things are going to be okay. 

We can all admit that this is terrible. Learning new things every day about this virus, watching the officially diagnosed rates go up and reading about those who are sick and dying is something we should not have to watch and feel helpless over.  

However, things are going to get better. As long as people continue to self-isolate in the ways that they can and do their best to protect themselves and others whenever they go out to get groceries or other essential items, this will be over within a few months.  

Just remember that it’s okay to not be okay during this difficult time but that there are ways to help you deal with these feelings. 

Stay safe.