Uncertainty evokes some of the strongest negative emotions from humans. One of such emotions is anxiety.
Anxiety (whether mild or extreme) is in fact a common response to a pandemic. However, it isn’t the best response because, under anxiety, wrong decisions can be made which only cause more problems.
Like every emotion, anxiety has a trigger and perhaps the reasonable way to curb anxiety is by first identifying the cause of the trigger. In the case of COVID-19, anxiety could cause an individual into panic-buying and stocking unnecessary items or avoiding contact with people completely (which is a good thing).
However, extreme cases of anxiety could cause a person’s lack of concentration, physical pain, difficulty sleeping and eating and even general stress which could lead to substance use.
Furthermore, anxiety whether mild or extreme is not a good state to be in during this period.
It is important to remember that in order to overcome anxiety, one must remain sensible and keep their minds free from triggering thoughts with these few tips.
- Limit your Media Consumption
This includes limiting your consumption of credible digital and terrestrial news content to at least thirty  to fifteen  minutes daily.
Similarly, limit your consumption of social media content such as Whatsapp BC’s which are mostly triggering and false. Avoid and even warn your social media and Instant Messaging friends and followers to quit sharing these triggering content with you.
If you have to, unfollow, block or report followers who flood your timeline with triggering and false information. Equally, you can take a break from these platforms.
- Be Deliberate About Relaxation
Spend the time you’d rather be worrying by relaxing. Whether it’s by catching up on an interesting movie or series, preparing and enjoying your favourite meal, reading a book by your favourite author, resting, or taking a nice long bath.
The trick is to put your feet up and think only good thoughts while treating yourself to a nice time.
- Stay In Touch With Loved Ones
Remember that there is no place like home and home is where the heart is. Whether you’re ten thousand miles away from your family, friends, or loved ones, you can still connect with them and experience the warmth of family.
Maximize tools like FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp Audio and Video, as well as Instagram Video to stay in touch with your family.
These people know you well and spending time with them can help relieve your stress.
- Get Professional Help
Should your anxiety and stress level be persistent even after trying out these tips, it may be time to get professional help. Thankfully, through video calls and text, you can contact professional therapists or specialists whom you can talk to.
Ask for recommendations of a professional from your loved ones.
- Take Precaution
Certain health and safety guidelines have been put in place such as; washing of hands frequently for 20 seconds, making use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer etc. Adhering to these guidelines will not only help relieve your stress and anxiety but will also help decrease your chances of contracting the virus.
Social distancing and self-isolation could also help boost your confidence in being away from the possible spread of COVID-19.
Remember, staying calm is a thing of the mind. Keep reminding yourself that this too will pass and keep up your faith.
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