Since the past few weeks the feeling of ‘uncertainty of the future’ has caused many people to feel anxious. People are worried about their health, family, their jobs, about how long they have to stay inside their houses, rent payments, etc. As a result, the cases of anxiety being reported to mental health professionals are rising day by day.
Here are 6 signs of coronavirus anxiety and what you can do about it:
1. Excessive worrying
Have you been feeling worried for the past few days? Are your worries not letting you sleep? During this uncertain time, our mind has the tendency of overthinking and creating situations out of the ‘what ifs’.
If you feel like you can’t stop worrying then designate a time for your worries like 15 or 20 minutes in a day. You can talk to someone about your worries during that time. Or maybe just write what you are feeling in your journal. After that make sure to do something to take your mind off from the things happening outside. Unplug from your social media platforms and make sure to spend some time without constantly checking the news.
It might feel like everything is hopeless at this time. You might feel like this whole big chaos might not end. Or maybe you were looking forward to something for a long time and it has been canceled or maybe you were finally feeling better and then this pandemic happened and now you’re feeling lost again.
These feelings of disappointment are normal and you don’t have to ignore them. But feeling like it will always be like this would do more harm. So, try to stay away from any kind of misinformation and only engage with authentic information. Checking out the positive news from around the world as well as seeing acts of kindness and compassion from people can help build hope that this too shall pass.
3. Faster heart rate
Stress may also cause your heart to beat fast. This happens because your body feels like it’s in danger and to prepare you for this danger it secretes hormones. These hormones are responsible for your heartbeat rising, high blood pressure, breathlessness, etc.
If you feel like this then try to ground yourself. You can do this by touching anything that you can find near you. Try to describe things around you that will help you to feel grounded and also distract your mind.
Have you been feeling irritated a lot in these past few days? Do you get easily upset or frustrated? You might feel that your emotions are all over the place. And living in close proximity with your family or friends makes them an easy target of your sour-grumpy mood. This might make you feel even more guilty about your emotions.
By reminding yourself that it’s just a response of stress and it is valid for you to feel this way your feelings of guilt can lessen considerably. If you’re an introvert then there is a likelihood that your feeling of irritability could also be because of not getting enough alone time. Make sure you carve out an hour or two for yourselves and remind your family not to disturb you during those hours.
Do you feel like you are always on edge? Are you having a difficult time staying still or relaxing? Maybe you feel like you always have to keep on checking the news all the time.
So, it would be better for you to take a break from the news or limit your consumption. Occupy your mind with something else like making a new recipe, painting, reading a book, watching movies, talking to your friends.
Feeling tired most of the time is a common symptom of anxiety. If you feel tired easily then it would be a good idea to engage in activities that energize you. It could be anything that makes you happy and excited like dancing or maybe playing with your pet. Exercise can also help you to feel active while improving your mood.
Many therapists are providing their services online nowadays. Also, there are some who are sharing knowledge on how to take care of your mental health on platforms like Instagram. So try to take advantage of these services to help relieve your stress. If you are already seeing a therapist, getting in touch with them is also a good idea. Talking to someone helps in dealing with these feelings rather than bottling them up inside. Take care of yourself and make your happiness and general wellness a priority these days. Stay safe everybody. Stay strong and stay home!
1. Robinson, L., Smith, M., & Segal, J. (2019). How to stop worrying. Retrieved on 25 March 2020 from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/how-to-stop-worrying.htm
2. Cornacchio, D., Crum, K.I., Coxe, S., Pincus, D.B., & Cormer, J.S. (2015). Irritability and Anxiety among Youth with Anxiety. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 55(1), 54-61.
3. Laney, M.O. (2002). The Introvert advantage: How to thrive in an Extrovert world. Workman Publishing.
4. Julson, E. (2018). 11 Signs of Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved on 25 March 2020 from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/anxiety-disorder-symptoms