Practical tips for reducing stress during the pandemic
Dealing with the stress of Coronavirus

Since the outbreak was first reported, there has been - understandably - some panic about Coronavirus. Health epidemics such as these can potentially cause an increased feeling of anxiety, especially for people who already struggle with anxiety disorders. The constant coverage in the media and other outlets can lead to increased fear.

Here are some suggestions that could help you during this time:

Talk to someone you trust
  • Talking to someone you trust about what's making you anxious could be a relief. It may be that just having someone listen to you and show you that they care can help.
Try to manage your worries
  • It can be hard to stop worrying when you have anxiety. If you fear that you have, or might get Coronavirus, set aside some time to challenge your thoughts and reassure yourself. As yourself: Do I have evidence? Am I at risk? Am I feeling ill? Have I been in contact with anyone who has tested positive?
Have some perspective:
  • Though we should not underestimate the effects of the virus, following government guidelines around social distancing is helping to reduce the number of cases in the UK.
Look after your physical health:
  • Try to get enough sleep as it can give you the energy to cope with difficult feelings and experiences.
  • Think about your diet and try to eat regularly to keep your blood sugar stable, as this can make a difference to your mood and energy levels.
  • Try to do some physical activity as exercise can be very beneficial to your mental wellbeing.
Practice self care:
  • Try breathing exercises. Breathing exercises can help you cope and feel more in control. Mindfulness can help with some anxiety disorders.
  • Perhaps spend some time outdoors.
  • Speak to a friend who makes you laugh.
  • Take some time out of your day to relax.
Focus on what you can control:
  • Public Health England suggests that the best way to protect against illness, whether the common cold, flu or coronavirus is to practice good hygiene.
  • Regularly wash your hands with warm water and soap, particularly after using public transport or before eating.
  • If you can't wash your hands, it may be helpful to carry hand sanitiser with you.
  • If you sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue and then immediately bin the tissue afterwards. Remember: "catch it, bin it, kill it"

For more information on coronavirus, please visit NHS.uk.
For more tips on how to self-care for anxiety, please visit MIND.

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