KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — As more information is learned regarding the coronavirus pandemic, feelings of stress and anxiety about the virus can take a toll on mental health.
We consulted an expert to better understand what can be done to ease coronavirus anxiety.
Experts say to ease worries about COVID-19, especially when the images and facts seem overwhelming, it’s best to take a break and step back.
While it is important to stay informed, experts say not to let your fear keep you from living your life.
One of the ways you’ve likely taken action is trying to buy supplies.
Empty shelves at stores across the country and locally are a telling sign of growing concern and fear over the coronavirus; with some trying to combat their fear by buying toilet paper and stocking up on cleaning supplies.
“Because we don’t know what to expect when you’re experiencing anxiety … our mind, our thoughts are, ‘I’m not sure what this will look like’ to buy items that could help with potential concerns,” said licensed clinical social worker Shannon Dow.
There are a few things to do to ease or prevent anxiety – by taking control of daily actions.
Stick to a routine – fear of the unknown can contribute to stress and anxiety. By keeping a routine schedule, there is more of a sense of control.
Take short breaks – go for a walk, read a book, listen to music – do things that are relaxing during those breaks.
Stay connected – especially to people you care about. Keep in mind that everyone responds to stress differently.
Get your information from a reliable news source. That way, you know the information you’re taking in is correct and up to date.
Additionally, experts say checking in with ourselves is most important when feeling overwhelmed — and knowing what’s best for you.
For those feeling overwhelmed by anxiety about their situation, related to the virus or not, please reach out for help. The Columbus suicide prevention services hotlines are below and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Suicide Prevention Hotline
- Teen Suicide Hotline
- Senior Hotline