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  • ResearcherLucy

5 steps to manage your coronanxiety

Updated: Jul 1, 2020

The C-word. It's bringing a completely new meaning to OCD to many of us, and pretty understandably raising all of our anxiety levels.

When I went to Sainsbury's the other day, I needed to clear my throat, and when I did a nearby group of people started panicking and stepping back from me. I had to (embarrassingly) explain it was a cat hair. But it just proves that

Anxiety is a fickle little beast;

When we've got a lot on our plates already, it finds each and every possible vulnerability to concentrate on and stress over.

Even when I've got next to nothing to do with my time, my anxiety holds onto imaginary issues; creates them with its ability to assume the worst in every situation. But right now its much worse.

Your brain is more concerned with the sound of someone coughing (Are they poorly? Whats happened? Did I just breathe that in??) and anxietys best frenemy - the future - slinking around at all times (Is my Nan okay? Will the man on the bus that was coughing this morning be there again?)

And while all of this swirls around inside your head, your phone, your best friend, your mum your dad, your boss - ALL TALKING ABOUT CORONAVIRUS.

We need a brain hack

.. but how on earth can we stop being so anxious about COVID-19 when it's all we see, hear, and apparently breathe!?

Well, from a seasoned health anxiety crazy person ( even before COVID-19 started..!) to you, here are my;

5 steps on how to manage your health anxiety

1 -Don't blame yourself

The first and most important tip, we are in this together, it's the media seeping into your brain that's caused this. People will want to talk about COVID-19 as its scaring them too, these people are using your chats to help them, but if it doesn't help you then tip 2 is for you

2- Go on a brain diet

The antidote to feeling better in a world seemingly gone mad is as simple as limiting your media consumption. You can’t control the crazy, but you can dramatically limit your exposure and counter the negative with some positives like Upworthy, The Good News Network, and YouTube cat videos. You may like being up to date on news, but at what cost to your internal peace? Make a media exposure limit and stick to it.

3- Throw a counter punch

Do not give in to what anxiety is driving you to do. Whatever it is that counters the anxiety, do it. Each time you squash your fear, you are “rewiring” your brain and weakening anxiety’s hold on you. (Unfortunately) you cant overcome anxiety when you constantly avoid it. When it comes to quelling Coronavirus anxiety, facing your fear is key - (within limits of course).

4- Connect through calls, texts, the internet, facetime, everything but face to face

You're phones is your best friend and your mortal enemy. Make sure youre using it to whatsapp your friends, look at tiktok videos of cats and facetiming your mum. Keep in virtual contact!

4- Finally, keep yourself busy

Ever tidied a room and then realised 3 hours have passed?! - no, me neither, but wishful thinking! Maybe a room tidy could help, but if not, Netflix is there too.

I know loads of scientists who have health anxiety off the charts, I don't think it's unusual for any of us to have it right now. The more you know, the more you're worried about, the more your constantly checking for updates, it's a horrible loop to get stuck in.

The body can feel like a big scary vessel of too many networks that can go wrong.

But the mind is powerful too, and what they really want is to work together. Health anxiety is a lot and trying to manage it can protect your well-deserved sanity.


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