Dealing With Anxiety During COVID-19

An expert shares 6 easy-to-follow tips to help us face the current stressors.

It seems as though a new development comes along every day regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus, COVID-19. 

The evolving situation can cause anxiety and stress, and experts believe it’s important to protect your mental health during the uncertainty.

David J. Puder, medical director of the MEND program at the Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center (BMC) in Loma Linda, California, United States, says the news can increase a person’s fear of a topic.

“It can make it feel like it’s happening right outside their front door,” he says. “I don’t believe minimizing the virus is good preparation, but it’s important to keep things in perspective.”

Puder recommends some things to consider through this period:

1. Take a break from the news

While it may feel important to know everything that’s going on, the damage from this might outweigh the good. Try scheduling times in your day where you take a break from the news.

“This can be helpful for those of us who are empathic and deeply feel for the stories we are hearing,” Puder says.

2. Log out of social media

When you’re physically distanced from your friends, family, or co-workers, you can be tempted to spend a lot of your day on social media, but this can quickly become overwhelming.

“When we see other people’s worst-case scenarios, it can create the same type of stress in us,” Puder says. “We can be aware without letting it consume us.” Staying connected is important, but Puder warns against using social media as our source of information.

3. Exercise

Getting out to exercise is more important than ever during stressful times. Fresh air and physical activity are good for both your mental health and physical well-being.

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