It’s nearly impossible to avoid the steady news stream surrounding the coronavirus pandemic that has swept over the world. So how do we manage anxiety from a global crisis?
Whether you always hear new data or statistics or you’re buying into what “news” is being posted on social media, it’s easy to feel anxious. You might also be scared about the situation, in general, or even wonder if it’s all hype.
This virus isn’t the first illness or other major world event to cause anxiety among many of us. And, it won’t be the last. Still, what can you do to manage anxiety and feel less fearful about what’s going on around you?
Take a Break
Perhaps you think the news is blown out of proportion. Or maybe you don’t believe everything you read or see on television. Nevertheless, an excellent way to manage anxiety over it is to step away from the news for a while.
Closeout of your social media accounts, turn off the television, and stay away from your phone. No, it’s not always fair that you have to completely “shut down” for a while to avoid the news. But, sometimes it’s the best option.
It’s often the constant, sustained stories of hopelessness and fear from the news that can continue to trigger your anxiety. By taking breaks throughout the day and focusing on something else, you can manage those triggers. As a result, you can handle your symptoms better.
Try spending your time doing things that will not only distract you, but that can reduce stress. Try reading, exercising, or even meditating. These activities can help you to feel more mindful and less anxious.
Focus on What You Can Control — Not What You Can’t
When you’re dealing with anxiety, it’s not uncommon to feel as though your world is spinning out of control. If you want to manage anxiety, it’s essential to recognize that there will always be things out of your control, such as losing a loved one to this virus. But, there are things you can control, like going to counseling for loss.
You can’t control how many people catch the virus. You can’t control what happens to those who do. What you can control is how you respond to what the news is saying.
You choose what to believe, and you decide how to act on it. When you put yourself in control of those things, you’re giving yourself more power and taking away the authority of your anxious thoughts.
Find the Moments of Positive News
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when scary statistics and predictions continuously bombard you. While you don’t necessarily need to go looking for “happy news,” pay attention to the positive pieces that pop up on the air.
This pandemic, for example, has shown great moments of humanity. People are helping others. Workers are donating their time. Restaurants are giving food to children who are out of school. Younger people are checking in on seniors.
There are bright moments, even in negative stories. So, don’t focus solely on the doom and gloom of the current situation (or any news story). You don’t need to ignore the negative things to find and appreciate the positive news.
Struggling with Headline Anxiety
If you’re trying to manage anxiety amidst the news of the coronavirus or other happenings in the world, you’re not alone.
These are uncertain times. It’s crucial to make your mental health a priority. Unfortunately, that isn’t always easy to do when you’re stuck at home, surrounded by the news all day, every day.
If you’re having trouble managing your anxiety, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Anxiety typically doesn’t go away on its own. Thankfully, you don’t have to manage it alone. Feel free to contact me for more information about working through your anxiety or visit my page on counseling for loss to learn more about how I can help.