This time when the talk around the world day in and day out is around COVID-19, people are going through Covid-19 symptoms of anxiety and panic . Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease, typically about something with an uncertain outcome. People are constantly talking and discussing about Coronavirus to their friends, family, relatives, neighbors and even strangers. Social Media is also fueling up the agony.There is significant transfer of emotion of fear and anxiety from one person to another.
It’s correct, emotions are contagious. Studies have shown that other people’s moods may be as easy to catch as their germs. This phenomenon is called emotional contagion (EC), in which one person’s emotions transfer to another. As per Ms. Deepali Batra, Clinical Psychologist in Delhi, it has been seen that negative emotions like fear, anxiety, and sadness are more contagious than positive emotions. If you are discussing your concerns with someone who is already in a state of anxiety than you are actually increasing the anxiety of that person and your anxiety may also increase listening to other persons fear.
The following inputs by Ms. Deepali Batra, Clinical Psychologist, based on psychological science, can help you deal with COVID-19 anxiety:
- People should avoid watching, reading or listening to news that makes you feel extremely worried or anxious. Information overloading is exhaustive. It triggers the Covid-19 Anxiety.
- Seek information mainly to take practical steps to protect yourself and your close ones. In Indian Ministry of Health and Family welfare or WHO is trustworthy.
- Check information updates only once or twice a day at specific times i.e. limit your media exposure. This will help in curbing Covid-19 Anxiety. Moreover you will get good time to spend in other activities which may be positive for you.
- Reducing your risk in turn will reduce your anxiety. Engage in frequent hand washing, social distancing, and stay at home, sleeping adequately etc. Keep a control on your own safety in a relaxed but serious manner.
- Talk to friend and family about things other than COVID-19. Talk about old trips , parties , fun times etc.
- Avoid rumination about fear of getting sick and consequences of getting sick. Excessive thinking can increase Covid-19 Anxiety. Worrying excessively will compromise your immunity. Use humor as psychological defense against stress.
- Choose your company wisely. Discuss your fears only with people who are more logical and rational.Emotional reactions are counter productive.
- Trust your resilience. Tell yourself that you will be able to cope up with quarantine and face this phase of your life. Its a collective efforts of many which will lead to ultimate victory.
- Engage in Deep-Breathing and muscle relaxation exercises. Be mindful, if required use good health channels to learn it.
- Take adequate sleep. Sleep is very crucial to relax mind as well to normalize the mental tearing
- Spend time with plants and pets. Grow a plant. Own an aquarium. See sun rise and sun sets.
- Exercise Regularly. It helps in distraction from Covid-19 Anxiety. Also it increases resilience.
- Keep your affectionate life alive. A good conversation with a near and dear one is extremely soothing . Don’t try to be emotional dependent but a healthy emotional relation is very effective.
- IF NEEDED SEEK HELP OF A PROFESSIONAL like Clinical Psychologist or a Psychiatrist
People who are vulnerable to psychological problems like anxiety may find corona virus very distressing. They may experience symptoms that may affect their day to day to functioning. These people may seek professional help from a mental health professional like a Clinical Psychologist or a Psychiatrist. It is always advised to control dysfunctional anxiety. A counselling session or use of anxiolytics may help in rebooting your psychological system.
This phase can be utilized to strengthen self- care and increase your psychological well being.