Anxiety management in the COVID-19 crisis.
Tips on how to cope with anxiety situations associated with the pandemic.
Anxiety is normal for anyone without physical or mental health problems, and in fact, it is part of the psychological mechanisms that allow us to adapt to day-to-day life. Thanks to it, we usually react quickly by taking actions that allow us to avoid risks or dangers of some kind.
However, it is also true that anxiety is the raw material of some psychological problems that we can develop under the right circumstances. And in this sense, the coronavirus pandemic provides many of those necessary elements to make it easy for us to unintentionally fall into bad anxiety management dynamics.. Let's see why this happens and what we can do to overcome this problem.
Why can the coronavirus crisis give way to anxiety problems?
These are the elements that make the COVID-19 crisis an ideal context for the appearance of anxiety problems.
1. Cultural changes arising from the pandemic
The pandemic has given rise to a number of relatively new ideas and behavioral dynamics: the concept that masks are important, collective responsibility in the face of an easily transmitted virus, etc. These changes have occurred rapidly, and it may be hard for some people to adapt to them so as not to be left out of the social consensus.
2. Social isolation
Because of infection prevention measures and policies of confinement or semi-confinement, a limitation of movement arises that is capable of distressing many people.This is especially true for people who are more extroverted or whose way of life depends more on face-to-face dealings with other people.
3. Concern for one's own health and that of others
Evidently, the fear that one's own physical integrity or that of others is at risk takes its toll on the mental health of many people: maintaining a constant state of alert to avoid catching or spreading the disease can take its toll if it is not well managed.
4. The economic crisis unleashed
Beyond the health field, the economy has also suffered, which has led many people to fear for their health. This has led many people to fear for their sources of income or directly to feel stressed by the need to find a new job.. There is also pressure to work more to compensate for losses, lack of clients due to the economic slowdown in some sectors, etc.
Doomscrolling is the tendency to consume a large amount of negative or doomsday news throughout the day, something that has multiplied recently due to the pandemic and the ease with which we access new information due to the popularization of social networks. This constant exposure to worrying or distressing content leads us to adopt a pessimistic mindset biased by the sensationalist or self-interested optics of much of this online content.
6. Painful memories associated with the spread of the virus
All of the above can give rise to very painful (or in extreme cases, even traumatic) memories: loss of loved ones, hospitalizations, loss of a job, etc. This suffering can easily be evoked in a situation in which we have not yet fully emerged from the pandemic context..
How to manage this anxiety?
The best way to solve anxiety problems is to attend psychotherapy. Psychologists are trained to offer therapeutic resources and training programs in emotional regulation, so that the patient is able to restore their balance in terms of their habits, the way they experience their feelings, etc.
However, beyond psychological intervention by mental health professionals, there are also some strategies you can adopt to enhance your well-being. Follow these tips to cope with excessive anxiety in the best possible way and increase your chances of overcoming it in a short time.
1. Harness the potential of the Internet for socializing
Video calls allow you to have a close relationship with those who are far away; do not waste this resource and continue to cultivate your relationships with friends and/or family to feel the support of others. to feel the support of others.
2. Make sure you get enough sleep
The hours you spend sleeping are not wasted time, even if you feel you need to work harder to compensate for the onslaught of the crisis. If you don't get enough sleep you will have serious problems concentrating, you will perform less well, and you will be much more vulnerable to anxiety disorders..
3. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness will help you get rid of the distressing ideas that come to your mind over and over again. Learn simple exercises of about five minutes and practice them every day.
4. Do moderate exercise
Exercise is an excellent resource to combat anxiety, especially if you choose to do it in moderation.Especially if you opt for aerobic, that is, long duration (at least 40 minutes) and without exerting much force.
You don't have to go to a crowded place to stay in shape; many exercises can be done at home.
5. Set short-term goals
Having clear goals to tackle in the next few hours or minutes will allow you to focus, so your mind won't wander through all those stressful thoughts.so your mind won't wander through all those stressful thoughts about what might happen or what you "should be doing".
Are you interested in psychological assistance for anxiety problems?
If you are suffering from excessive anxiety in your day to day life, contact our team of professionals. At Avance Psychologists you will have more than 20 years of experience in the service of your well-being; we work offering individualized psychotherapy, family and couple therapy, neuropsychology, psychiatry, speech therapy and coaching. You can find us in our center located in Madrid, and we also offer online therapy by video call.
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(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)