What is Coronavirus anxiety, and how is it different from any other type of distress or uneasiness? What are twenty-three simple ways to triumph over it?
What is Coronavirus Anxiety?
Anxiety is distress or uneasiness caused by fear of danger or misfortune. Sometimes these fears are real, and anxiety alerts us to take action. But sometimes, the perceived threat or trouble is either non-existent or far less than was anticipated.
Coronavirus anxiety is amplified by and, in some ways, unique to this pandemic. The source of the tension is the Coronavirus itself. There is ample evidence that a real danger exists, and the world has taken extraordinary steps to try and contain its spread.
How is it Coronavirus anxiety different from any other type of distress or uneasiness?
There are four differences between Coronavirus anxiety and the general anxiety we usually experience.
First, we are experiencing Coronavirus anxiety corporately and globally. It is not limited to an individual. Because we are experiencing this together, its magnitude is amplified and inescapable.
Second, we have limited information concerning the disease, and the stream of information concerning a genuine threat is constant and alarming in its inconsistency. Our emotions rise and fall with each news cycle. We live in a heightened sense of danger. We are in a constant state of never-ending change.
Third, the Coronavirus has separated us from people, our families, friends, coworkers, and health professionals who were often our primary source of comfort in times of distress. Our loneliness magnifies the effects of anxiety. We are left alone with a voice in our head that reinforces every unreasonable fear we have.
Fourth, the Coronavirus has robbed us of physical presence and touch. Hugs brought comfort when words failed.
What can we do?
23 simple ways to triumph over Coronavirus anxiety.
There are a variety of activities we can engage in to manage our general anxiety. Of course, we know to eat right, drink water, exercise, breathe deeply, and get quality sleep. But we should consider some additional activities when addressing anxiety caused by the Coronavirus.
Here are twenty-three of my favorites.
- Singing in the Shower. Research indicates that singing boosts our immunity, lessens our stress levels, and helps us to improve our ability to breathe.
- Laughing often and with gusto. Laughter really is the best medicine. It can quickly improve our emotional well-being.
- Power walking while doing something else. Cross-train by listening to upbeat music, a podcast, or a standup comedian while getting in your daily steps.
- Making Lists. It doesn’t matter if it is paper or in a digital format. Emptying your mind is healthy. Some productivity experts recommend doing this on a weekly basis.
- Prioritizing the tasks on the list. Then take action on what is important and within your control.
- Marking tasks off our list when it is complete.
- Tracking our progress at the end of each, day, week and month.
- Writing down our fears. Then determine what you would do if it happened. Then place that list of fears somewhere safe. Leave it there. You can always pick the list up later. Thinking through our fears, having a plan of action, and laying them down, even temporarily, can allow us to relax.
- Doing a personal and vocational skills assessment. Are you working for the right company, utilizing your strengths, and receiving the proper compensation? Change can be unsettling but also liberating.
- Cleaning or organizing your garage or closets. Make a decision to give away useful things you don’t need to a non-profit group. Throw trash out and let it go.
- Sharing a meal with someone on a Zoom-meeting or Skype call. I know that it is not the same as being there. But it is better than eating alone. Sometimes we have to settle for the best approximation of the real thing.
- Donating Blood. Someone may need the blood that you can provide.
- Helping someone who needs assistance. You will be surprised by how good you will feel helping others.
- Starting a new hobby. Many of us no longer commute to work. Are we utilizing this extra time?.
- Hugging the people you are in quarantine with for a full 30 seconds. We can be so conscious of those we can’t hug that we forget to hug the ones we can.
- Writing a letter to someone who has made a difference in your life.
- Seeking out a mentor for personal development.
- Becoming a mentor to someone who needs someone to guide them.
- Expressing our emotions honestly. Saying we are fine when we are anxious does nothing to alleviate our pain, or anyone else’s.
- Counting our blessings.
- Engaging in constructive self-talk.
- Asking God to help us to trust him with the things beyond our control.
- Creating new routines in unusual places can be transformative. Routines are important. They bring a sense of stability and rhythm to the chaos of life. Many of us are working from home but have not adapted our routines to reflect our new location and surroundings. Be intentional. Create separate spaces or room for work, relaxation, and exercise. Do your work in the place designated for work. Don’t bring your work into the relaxation or exercise room. Create a routine that signals to yourself and those you are in quarantine with that you are through with work. Then honor that routine.
Call to action.
How has Coronavirus anxiety affected you? What steps will you take to address the anxiety caused by the Coronavirus? If you found this topic interesting, check out Do You Want To Be Whole?
If you liked this article, please signup for the LoveIsBroken4u Newsletter. This newsletter is for those who feel broken by trauma, shame, and mental illness and the caregivers who serve them.
My mission is to help individuals and churches become safe havens for the broken.