COVID-19 Anxiety


I cannot recall when it was that I first heard of the COVID-19, but I do remember that it seemed something distant that had nothing to do with me; never imagining that I will experience what it is like to live during a pandemic.

We are all in a fight against an invisible enemy that can strike unknowingly. It affects everyone differently; some people feel nothing, others suffer flu-like symptoms that are sometimes quite severe and linger for days and weeks, while for some it is unfortunately deadly. The strange nature of this virus makes us worry about what could happen if you or a loved one catch it.

Personally, as I write this article, it has been more than two months since I last left my home. I thought it would not be too difficult to stay home; however, I have had periods of time when I felt extremely anxious and experienced bouts of depression. I have also experienced vivid dreams related to the current events, leading to restless and uncomfortable sleep, which is something that seems to be quite common nowadays.

A big factor that causes anxiety is worrying about the future and the uncertainty of it all; adding to that the constant stream of news, fueling one’s anxiety. Your mind spirals as you think of all the negative scenarios that can occur, causing you emotional and physical distress. You may start to feel tightness in your chest and a sense of being trapped and restless. Yet, even though anxiety is at an all-time high these days, there are ways of reducing it and coping with it in a healthy manner.

  1. Whether you are staying home, or you have to go out for work or grocery trips; arm yourself with accurate information about the virus and the protection measures.
  2. Stay away from undependable news sources to curb your feelings of fear; do not blindly believe WhatsApp messages and Facebook posts that list no credible sources.
  3. Make sure your place is tidy and pleasing to your eyes; a tidy environment helps you feel more at ease, whereas a messy one can make you feel trapped and restless.
  4. If you are staying home, create a routine for yourself; make sure you have time for work and time for rest and that there is a clear demarcation between both. You can do that by creating a schedule, separating your areas of work and rest if possible, and trying to maintain a healthy diet.
  5. Whenever you feel anxious, try to disengage from your negative thoughts by recognizing that it is ok to feel uneasy about the situation and doing some breathing exercises to help ground yourself. Meditation can also be very helpful; you can pray, sit in silence and focus on your breathing, or you can listen to music, color, paint, or practice any other crafty hobby.
  6. Stay connected; call your friends and your family, and try to talk about your fears and concerns. Try also to have conversations that have nothing to do with the pandemic.

We are all still adjusting to the new normal, but it is important to lay a foundation for good habits now to help us better cope with it. You can minimize the negative mental effects the pandemic has had on us. Social isolation, financial concerns, health problems are all at the forefront of our thoughts; however, it is important to remember that humans are resilient, that good can come out of bad, and that this is not permanent even if our anxiety sometimes makes us feel like it is.



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