The whole world has been fighting the Coronavirus for over a year. Frequent quarantines have now become a part of our lives. All these events, from the very beginning to the present, negatively affect the health of all of us, especially people living with conditions such as anxiety and OCD (Obsessive-compulsive disorder).
So, how can we protect our mental health during the pandemic process?
1) Limit the news and pay attention to what you read
Limit the time you spend reading or watching things that don’t make you feel better or decide on a specific time to check the news.
There is so much wrong information. Stay informed by staying connected to reliable information sources.
Social media can be a trigger from time to time. Check which accounts you follow and avoid clicking coronavirus hashtags. Exposure to unconfirmed news on social media can raise concerns.
3) Wash your hands but not excessively
For OCD and some types of anxiety, being told to constantly wash your hands can be challenging. The issue to be considered here is function. For example, do you wash for the recommended time to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, or do you do it ritually in a specific order?
4) Stay connected with people
Feel connected to the people around you. If you are self-isolating, strike a balance between routinizing or diversifying your day.
You may feel quite productive during this process. You can work on your to-do list or read a book you want to read. However, don’t forget to have online conversations with people you care about.
5) Avoid burnout
Continue to access sunlight and nature wherever possible. Exercise and eat well.
The AnxietyUK Association recommends using the “Apple” technique to deal with anxiety and worries.
Acknowledge (Confirmation): Recognize and acknowledge the uncertainty.
Pause: Don’t react as you normally would. Pause and breathe.
Pull back: Tell yourself this is just an alarming conversation. It’s just a thought or feeling. Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are not facts.
Let go: Let go of the thought or emotion. All will pass. You don’t have to answer them.
Explore: Explore the present moment and focus on your breathing. Look around and notice what you see, what you hear, what you can touch, what you can smell. Then turn your attention to something else. Keep doing what you were doing before you noticed the worry or do something new.
It’s understandable to be worried about the news, but it can make many people’s existing mental health problems worse. In this process, we should keep our calm as much as possible and keep our minds busy with different pursuits.