Managing anxiety around coronavirus

Here is some advice bringing together trusted and expert sources for anyone feeling anxious or overwhelmed about coronavirus;

Information about coronavirus is everywhere in the media and the immediate focus is understandably on keeping people physically well and preventing further spread of the virus. However, the anxiety caused by concerns about our wellbeing and that of our loved ones, the potential impact on our jobs and income, concerns about restrictions and shortages can also have a detrimental effect on our mental wellbeing. A constant stream of news, internet and social media posts can make our anxieties worse as well as risking us accessing incorrect or misleading information. 

Do you need constant access to news and social media?

If a constant stream of news is making you anxious then think about limiting how much time you spend on social media or reading, listening or watching the news. If you feel you need to know what is going on, then you may want to think about the reliability of where you are getting your information from. Is it a trusted and reliable source or is it sensationalising and scaremongering?  Trusted news sources include the NHS and the Government

Be mindful

When we are anxious our minds tend to run out of control, worrying about things that have happened and things that might happen. Instead, it can be really helpful to stop and just focus on the present which allows our minds to stop whirring out of control; The NHS Every Mind Matters website has lots of techniques you can try. Mindfulness applications such as Headspace and Calm are also available on mobile devices and provide guided or self-guided meditation exercises.

Look after your own wellbeing

Take steps to ensure you are sleeping and eating well, exercising where possible and practicable. There are lots of online exercise and yoga videos you can do in your own home.

MIND has good advice on how to care for your mental health should you be required to self-isolate or the government move to restricting people’s movements.

This advice includes

  • Find the right place to stay
  • Eat well and stay hydrated
  • Keep taking your medication
  • Continue accessing treatment and support if possible
  • Take care of your immediate environment
  • If you have care needs or provide care to someone else
  • Plan for working or studying at home
  • Find ways to spend your time and keep your mind stimulated
  • If you’re feeling claustrophobic or trapped

Useful links and sources

People at Work – https://www.peopleatwork.co.uk/my-eap/login

NHS England – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

MIND – https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

NHS Every Mind Matters – https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/anxiety/#custom-2column-share-shelf

UK Government – https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-advice-to-support-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak

© People at Work 2020