When your mind starts to race, these tips can help you relax and regain control
The novel coronavirus has forced us all to stay home for our own safety. The world outside looks scary as the number of cases and death toll keep rising.
As of April 30, the total number of COVID-19 cases stand at 3.21 million globally, while the reported number of deaths are 228,000.
With so much uncertainty all around us, our mental health is being negatively affected. It seems like our anxiety too is feeling left out and wants to drop a ‘Hi!’ and perhaps wants to be in lockdown with us too.
But that’s OK! To be anxious when the world is falling apart (not literally though) is understandable.
According to mental health practitioners, it is completely normal to experience fear and anxiety right now even if you do not already deal with anxiety and/or depression.
But having said that it is also important to learn ways to keep our anxiety at bay. Here is a list of things you can do to ease stress and anxiety.
Ignorance Is Sometimes Truly Bliss
This does not mean you ignore what is happening around you. Instead, limit the amount of information you consume on a daily basis.
From social media platforms to mainstream news outlets, every news source is constantly giving us updates on the global pandemic. It is best to limit the time we spend on these platforms each day.
Remember that taking time off is a great way to calm anxiety.
Talk About Your Feelings
Talking to people about how you feel is going to make you realize that you are not alone. You can either talk to someone whom you know will not judge you or perhaps connect with the community through online platforms.
Online platforms or groups provide people with a sense of togetherness during these trying times. Members of the group Question Updates have also reached out to one another for help and guidance.
Talking or venting to people you trust can help you feel at ease.
Focus On Controlling Things That Are In Your Control
For many of us, uncertainty and a lack of control over things trigger our anxiety. In the case of a pandemic, the truth is that we cannot control things happening around us. It then becomes important to accept this fact and control what we can.
These include taking the necessary precautions, such as washing hands, maintaining social distancing and staying home to reduce our chances of contracting the virus.
Keep Yourself Busy
More often than not, when we are sitting idle we find our anxiety spiraling out of control. Filling up our time with other things can help us keep it under control.
So, keep yourself busy by doing different things. These could be as small as solving a puzzle or organizing the contents of a drawer. Restart the hobbies you had left midway due to lack of time or take up online courses and acquire new skills. It is important to occupy yourself to turn off negative thoughts.
Having said that, this does not mean we do not allow ourselves to feel anxious. While taking time out to do other things, also set aside time to worry and work through thoughts about the coronavirus.
Mental health experts recommend journaling thoughts by hand on a piece of paper. You can either choose to keep it or throw it away; though doing the latter is more cathartic and will make you feel like you have emptied your mind of all the worries.
However, if these tips do not help, we advise seeking professional help. There are mental health helplines in Pakistan you can reach out to:
- Baat Karo: reachable via Whatsapp on 03355743344
- Umang: +92 317 4288665
- Rozan Counselling helpline: 0800-22444