Gunman Opens Fire
- A 65-year-old man in New York City fired shots at Memorial Sloan Kettering last night; thankfully, no one was injured.
- During the high-stress time of COVID-19, it’s important to manage your anxiety as best you can.
- Things like meditation, focusing on what you can control, and limiting your news intake, can all improve well-being during this tumultuous time.
4 Ways to Cope with Anxiety During Covid
Limit Your News Intake
The current news cycle is frustrating at best, and debilitating at worst. Taking a break from watching, reading, or listening to the news, or merely limiting your intake to 5 minutes a day, will allow you some mental space from all that’s going on the world.
The pandemic feels mentally, emotionally, and physically overwhelming to most people. By limiting your intake of pandemic news (and political news) – yet, still keeping abreast of what’s going on, insomuch as is needed – but you can give yourself the gift of, hopefully, a less anxious mind.
Meditation is an excellent way to quiet your mind and tune out the literal and figurative noise of the world. While it may seem intimidating from the outset if you’ve never done it before, it doesn’t have to me – keep the bar low!
Try to meditate for just 1 minute, and see how it goes. Find a quiet space, and opt for silence or calming music or a guided meditation (you’ll find loads of them on YouTube), and sit with yourself and your feelings for a bit, and go inward.
Focus On What You Can Control (And Let Go of What You Can’t)
So little is within our grasp right now, when it comes to the big, global picture. Political upheaval, an ever-present deadly virus, and social distance orders – these are all things we can’t control. Focus on what you have autonomy over: How much sleep you’re getting (which impacts your mood, health, and overall well-being), how much exercise you’re doing (which also improves your mood), your diet and water intake, and your distanced social connections (are any of them draining to you or ramping up your anxiety? Take a break from those friends and family when possible).
While the world is inarguably topsy-turvy at the moment, you have a degree of control over your inner life, and how you manage those factors which deeply affect it: Your diet, your health, your sleep. Focus on the areas you have authority over, to regain a sense of calm and ease, as much as you’re able.
Manage Your Anxiety
Dr. Marianna Strongin, a Clinical Psychologist, said in a previous interview, “The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the largest issues that anybody with any kind of mood or anxiety disorder right now is facing…COVID-19 is especially threatening to the anxious mind because there are no answers right now.”
Dr. Strongin points to the news cycle as well as a source of anxiety. “And what happens is people get addicted to looking for answers through the media. What happens, as a result, is that they wind up with more questions, and questions equals anxiety. Under the anxiety umbrella, there are a few things to pay attention to. The first thing is that people have to understand their anxiety and the relationship they have with their anxiety.”
“So what I mean by that is, how often are you checking in with your anxiety?” asked Dr. Strongin. “Where do you feel it in your body? And what are the questions that it’s asking you? Is it asking you, is everything going to be OK? What’s happening? Will I survive? Now, the second most important thing is, are you providing it some answers? The answers are our coping skills.”
Clinical Psychologist Dr. Marianna Strongin talks to SurvivorNet about how to manage anxiety during COVID-19.