Fear is a helpful and normal part of being human that keeps one alert to save themselves from any accident. With the COVID-19 pandemic raging around the country, fear and anxiety are bound to be one of the prime sentiments affecting people.
The pandemic has not only affected one’s physical health but has also taken a toll on mental wellbeing. Reports suggest that cases of depression have tripled across the world during this period. With that being said, here is how COVID fear does more harm than you realise and the ways to manage anxiety.
The Response of the Immune System to Fear and Anxiety
One of the reasons why you need to combat pandemic anxiety is because it makes your immune system take a hit. The stress hormone called corticosteroid suppresses the effectiveness of your immune system, i.e. lowers the number of lymphocytes.
So, when you are stressed, the ability of your immune system to fight off antigens is at an all-time low. In turn, this makes you more susceptible to get infected by the coronavirus.
Stress detrimentally affects the body in indirect ways, too. People tend to use unhealthy coping mechanisms to control stress, such as smoking, drinking, and bingeing on fast food.
Managing Your Fear and Anxiety during COVID-19
Now that you know it is indispensable to keep your COVID worries under control, let’s offer you a few tips to manage your mental health during this time.
● Take Breaks From Constant News Coverage
It is essential to stay informed, but it is also deeply upsetting to hear about the pandemic all the time. So, listen to or read the news only for a particular hour each day and disconnect yourself from computer screens, TV, social media and phone for some time.
● Find Ways To Take Care Of Your Body
There are several ways to take care of your body and keep restlessness and anxiety away. You might consider relying on meditation and yoga to calm your mind down. Make sure to keep some form of exercise in your daily routine. Since hitting the gym is not an option in this pandemic, go for a walk around the neighbourhood or simply your backyard. You can turn to freehand exercises that you can do anywhere.
● Try To Have Well-Balanced And Healthy Meals
One of the best ways to keep your immune system happy and healthy is to have a balanced diet. You need to include plenty of fruits and veggies in your diet, but that’s not all. Also, add healthy fats like seeds, nuts, tuna, salmon, and lean meats. It is better to bring down your salt intake and avoid packaged and processed food. Rely more on home-cooked food rather than the processed options.
● Make Time To Relax and Unwind
A way to keep depression at bay is to take some time out to unwind. Do things that make you happy, such as reading a book, watching movies, listening to music, or simply engaging in hobbies. It will help you stay positive and keep worries at bay.
● Connect With Your Friends and Family
Deal with COVID-19 anxiety by connecting with your friends and family over phone and video calls. Share your concerns and how you are feeling, and let them share the same with you. Encourage each other to stay strong in the current scenario.
Coronavirus effect on mental wellbeing might be adverse if you do not take the proper steps beforehand. Therefore, follow the tips given above and do not lose hope. If you still feel stressed, browse therapist sessions or talk to a therapist (chat, audio, or video call) using The Wellness Corner app to get the expert assistance.