Dealing with Anxiety During a Pandemic

How to Deal with Anxiety

Dealing with anxiety is always a challenge, but especially when:

  • Change happens unexpectedly
  • Something happens beyond your control
  • You feel like you’re alone in your experience
  • You’re also experiencing grief

That’s why anxiety about Coronavirus (COVID-19) is especially tough to face. It’s complicated by many factors. But it is not impossible to cope with anxiety, even as coronavirus stories fill the news. 

There are steps you can take to reduce anxiety. You can still find a sense of peace, even when it seems like the world has been turned upside-down. Here are some things that may help.

Let Feelings Happen

Feelings are a normal part of life. Sometimes, we might feel like “we shouldn’t feel” a particular way, or that “getting emotional” is a bad thing. But having emotions and expressing them is not wrong. It’s okay to let your feelings happen. You may even feel a sense of relief just from expressing a feeling, rather than trying to stuff it down inside or force it to go away. 

It’s important for me to remember that feelings will naturally pass, change, and shift throughout the day. In the moment I am feeling a strong emotion, it might seem like I will always feel this way. But I can acknowledge it, let it happen, and remind myself that this feeling and the way I experience it can and will change with time.

Ground Yourself

When the news about COVID-19 brings up your stress levels, it’s good to be prepared with some steps to take to ground yourself. Grounding yourself during an intense bout with anxiety is helpful and important. You can do this by:

1. Stepping away: Step away from/turning off/unplugging from what is making you feel anxious when you feel like it’s too much.

2. Closing your eyes: Closing your eyes can temporarily shut out all the distractions and overstimulation your mind is getting when you feel anxious.

3. Deep breathing: Try taking a deep breath (in through your nose) and holding it till the count of 4. Then release it slowly through your mouth. Do this a few times, for however long it takes for your physical feelings of anxiety to calm.

4. Focusing on your feet: This sounds unusual but taking a moment to focus your attention on where your feet are resting can help you feel more grounded right away.

Grounding yourself is a great way to get back to the present moment. When I take a minute to do this, I am reminded that my feelings are strong, but that I am more than my feelings. They won’t overtake me, and I can move through my day without them dominating all the time.

Take Time for Faith

I know it feels strange to think about faith when things are difficult. But making efforts to remain hopeful and faithful during a struggle is how our faith strengthens. When you are feeling anxious, your faith can be a refuge for you.

People have turned to faith in difficult times throughout the centuries. Don’t be afraid to express your feelings about coronavirus in prayer.

Time in prayer gives you a truly safe place where you can express exactly what you’re feeling, and ask for exactly what you need, without fear. Praying even when I don’t feel like it is always hard in the moment, but it has led to some great reminders of God’s love.

Get Anxiety Support

This struggle against COVID-19 and its effects will likely continue for some time. While it’s great to take steps to manage your anxiety, you'll need ongoing support.

TheHopeLine has Hope Coaches available now to talk with you. Talk to a HopeCoach today to find encouragement and get tips for managing anxiety. We are here for you, and we will get through this together.

My HopeCoaches are able to continually offer help with any uncertainty and fear that you may be feeling.

If you'd like more information about the Coronavirus and dealing with fear and anxiety, please visit our page here.

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