Corona virus anxiety abounds. We can see it in the empty grocery store shelves. There is no hand sanitizer or masks to be found! It is a real trigger for those with health anxiety. In case you tend to get anxious around issues like corona virus, here are some quick tips for managing that anxiety. For starters, it’s completely normal to feel anxiety around a situation like the Corona Virus outbreak.
But when we get stuck in a loop of anxious thoughts it does not do us any good.
We can become overly preoccupied with trying to “figure it out” anticipating every possible scenario. We become obsessed with thoughts surrounding disastrous outcomes and how to prepare for them. Our brains are adept at tricking us into thinking that this kind of rumination is helpful, when really it just causes more stress. Here are a few tips to calm yourself and tame those anxious thoughts.
Five Tips To Manage Corona Virus Anxiety
1. Limit your news reading/watching. Appoint a friend or family member to update you if there is something truly important to know. If you must read the news, get the facts from a reputable source like the CDC or your county health department.
2. When you catch yourself having obsessive thoughts, make an attempt to pivot to a different subject, and remind yourself that ruminating on it will only cause you more stress. Believe or not, actually getting up and changing your position in space (pivot!) as you change your thoughts helps.
3. Take advantage of a meditation app to soothe your mind and steer your thoughts away from anxious ones. Another good choice is progressive muscle relaxation for those of you with non-meditation monkey minds.
4. Choose grounding activities like taking a walk, a bath, or getting a massage. There’s a list of 25 ways to ground yourself on my site. When we send messages to our bodies that we are calm, our brain is better able to follow suit.
5. Each time you find yourself stuck in an anxious disaster scenario try picturing something opposite. Try visualizing a favorite place, or a specific event where you felt a lot of love. (Yay for oxytocin!) Allow yourself to dwell in the positive memory just as intensely as you had been with the negative, fear-based thought.
- Get the facts
- Choose relaxation that works for you
- Visualize opposite scenarios when stuck in a loop. Sometimes writing it out helps.
And if you need more help with coping, please contact me here.
P.S. Create a new habit. When you step into your home after being gone for a bit, put your stuff down, and go wash your hands with soap and hot water. Let the physical cue of setting down your stuff cue you to wash up.