12 Tips to Help with Anxiety Over the New Variants of Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Updated: Mar 5, 2021
Are you living in fear of catching Coronavirus?
As Covid-19 continues to spread with new variants of the virus now appearing, it is hard to avoid the constant updates on the latest death tolls and alarming images from inside overwhelmed hospitals in various parts of the world. All this can bring a new heightened fear over catching the virus at a time when most of us thought things were improving. As well as having lockdowns to deal with and all the pressures and upheaval that can bring your mental health has probably taken a bit of a battering which may increase feelings of fear from this invisible enemy.
If you are feeling scared, worried and anxious about catching the virus, then you are not alone, especially if you are classed as high risk or have family members who are more at risk. Although it is a serious situation, the way you view and think about the virus can increase your anxiety. Below are a few tips help you manage your anxiety levels.
Keep it in perspective.
Although there has been a large number of deaths from the virus, there is also a high recovery rate for most people. If you are afraid of catching the virus or a new variant remember that your symptoms could be mild and not necessarily be life threatening. Also keep in mind that various vaccines are becoming available which you might want to consider.
Take a pro-active role by figuring out your own personal risk and the steps you can take to protect yourself. This can help reduce a sense of helplessness you may be feeling. Do you spend a lot of time around other people and if so are there extra precautions you can take? Have you've been exposed to anyone who's been ill recently or are you in a higher risk category due to your age, immune problems or existing health issues?
Try to avoid panic.
Follow common-sense measures and government guidelines to keep yourself and your family safe and avoid taking unnecessary risks. We have all heard the phrase 'hands - face - space' many times. If you start to feel panic rising then try to focus on slowing your breathing down whilst feeling your feet planted firmly on the ground, this can help disrupt the stress response and restore calm.
Keep your mind occupied.
Keep your mind active and focus on things other than the virus. This is easier if you are busy with work but if you are stuck at home it can be more difficult. Take up a hobby or study something new or just read a book or magazine. Do something you enjoy and set yourself targets. Also keep to a routine to give some structure to your day and avoid the urge to make every day a 'duvet day'!
Do something you can control.
If you have time on your hands then spring clean the house, re-arranging a few things can help give you back a sense of control and reduce anxiety. Sort our your wardrobe and drawers, now is as good a time as any to have a good clear out. If you are working from home then try to keep to a schedule and write a 'to do' list of tasks you are able to complete.
Spend time in nature.
You may not feel like going out when it is cold but time spent outdoors surrounded by nature has been shown to reduce feelings of anxiety. Even time spent in the garden can be beneficial. If you don't have one then sit by an open window and look out. Our mind, body and spirit suffer when we are disconnected from nature.
Make time for exercise.
Make sure you are getting plenty of exercise, even if you can't leave the house there are plenty of workouts for all ages on the internet. Exercise helps to release the feel good hormones and helps you feel calmer, keeping anxiety at bay. You could also try something different like yoga or qi-gong to get your “chi” or “life force” energy moving.
Protect your immune system.
If you are feeling anxious about whether your immune system can cope with the virus then take steps to support it. Simple practices like eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, maybe taking supplements and exercising regularly exercise can give your immune system a boost.
Make time for yourself.
With so much going on it is more important than ever to have some time out to re-set and connect back to yourself. Try meditation or different relaxation techniques to reduce stress and anxiety. Even a relaxing soak in an aromatic bubble bath can be beneficial.
Avoid spending too much time on virus news.
Resist the urge to obsessively read and listen to virus updates as this isn't going to help your anxiety levels. Also ensure you are getting all of your information from a reputable source, rather than social media.
Practice mindfulness techniques.
Our minds are wired towards looking to potential threats in order to protect us and are good at predicting the worst case scenario. When you find yourself being swept up in worrying thoughts of what could happen try practicing mindfulness by acknowledge the worrying thoughts without judgement and refocusing your mind on the present moment. Starting a formal mindfulness meditation practice can help you develop the skills to do this. Get access to your free Mindfulness Meditation exercises below.
Focus on the bigger picture.
Focusing on the bigger picture outside of the current Coronavirus pandemic can go a long way in helping you maintain your health and wellbeing and deal with unavoidable anxiety. Although the virus may be with us for a while the situation will improve over time.
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Produced for general informational purposes only and not intended to replace medical advice