Do you find yourself increasingly upset whenever you take in news regarding COVID-19, especially the recent third wave? If you’ve been feeling extra stressed out or worried lately, it’s not uncommon. Many other people are also feeling this way.
As the pandemic took hold of the country it left a path of unpredictability in its wake — enough to create some mental health and wellness problems that need to be resolved.
Those numbers, together with the significant results of the pandemic in our personal and professional lives, are absolutely a cause for concern. Here’s what you need to do to deal with COVID anxiety.
Handle It Immediately
You might have been tempted to minimize or ignore how you really feel, or perhaps you didn’t quite understand how anxious or stressed you’ve been all along.
Nonetheless, your anxiety and stressors aren’t going to vanish by waiting or willing them away — similar to how COVID will not simply magically disappear.
You need to avoid the lure of the normalcy bias or that tempting feeling that you can just fast-forward the difficult parts of this year, or that things will quickly return to exactly how they were pre-COVID. Instead, we have to adjust to the long battle of dealing with COVID-19 as well as tackling anxiety and depression now.
Stressed Out and Anxious? Address These Needs Now
Most probably, a great deal of the things that are making you anxious or giving you stress involve the uncertainty brought by the pandemic.
There are things within your control, nonetheless. Securing these will likely give a sense of stability and comfort — and don’t we all yearn for these during such nerve-wracking times?
You’re likely familiar with Abraham Maslow’s theory of human motivation and also the pyramid of needs based on his work. Maslow suggested that specific essential requirements need to be met so that people will remain motivated.
Psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman refined Maslow’s theory with newer research, and his revised model demonstrates that human beings require the following to remain balanced and motivated.
This pertains to physical safety. See to it that you and also the ones you love can remain sheltered in a safe place for months at a time if there are major COVID outbreaks in your area. Prepare 2 months’ worth of basic food and also cleansing materials, in addition to required medicines.
Also keep in mind that numerous companies (most likely including your own, too) as well as organizations have moved to a remote work setup. You may need to telecommute for a while, so make sure your home is a place where you can work without obstacles.
Connection to Others
Your relationship with your loved ones as well as your community is incredibly vital if you want to get rid of COVID stress and anxiety. There are several things you’ll need to do to maintain it.
Initially, think of your immediate connections with household members. With these connections, it’s better to expect and address concerns in advance as opposed to having them explode later on. If you live with a romantic partner at home, you’ll need to figure out exactly how to engage in a healthy way given that you’re with each other all the time.
The same applies for various other family members. You might also have children who are cooped up inside the house if they’re back from school or university. In that case, you’ll have to figure out ways to help them deal with lockdown fatigue.
More consideration should be given towards dealing with older adults above 60 or anyone with health conditions in your home (including yourself if applicable). Because they are at higher risk of getting COVID, significant measures need to be taken to prevent them from getting ill.
Second, think about your loved ones who don’t stay in your home. You and your romantic partner might not be living in the same house. Based on how vulnerable you and other household members might be to the virus, you might opt to have a socially distant kind of relationship or you might opt to take the risk of physical intimacy.
No matter which option you decided to take, just ensure that you are making the choice consciously and not casually.
Apply the same principle to your friendships and community activities. You will need to figure out ways to stay connected with your network online, since social distancing recommendations and preferences may vary.
The sooner you’re able to address this, the better for all involved. While different US states have varying guidelines, anything can change depending on the severity of COVID outbreaks.
You can do this by planning how you want to live your life during and after this pandemic. You should also explore other areas in your life where you can make improvements – even enhancements – during this period of limitations and restrictions.
You could even pick up or enhance new skills. Staying mostly at home provides a great opportunity to learn how to cook those dishes you’ve wanted to try for the longest time, or play an instrument, or learn a new language.
The uncertainty brought about by the pandemic makes us prone to stress and anxiety. However, addressing your fundamental needs will bring you comfort during this difficult time.