Covid-19 pandemic could be anxiety provoking for most of us. Since we have to stay indoors for an undefinite time period we may not feel that things are under control and that we are in safe. On top of that some of us who were already experiencing difficulties before the pandemic and may be more triggered by this event. However, everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and this can change in time.
Pandemic related stress may show itself in these ways:
· Elevated health anxiety and fear
· Changes in sleeping and eating habits
· Difficulties in focusing
· Decrease in academic performance and daily activities
· Difficulties in anger management
· Worsening of existing health conditions
· Abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
Normally fear and anxiety are protective feelings that make us alert and ready to possible dangers. However, when they are elevated to a certain point, they become disturbing. Therefore, it is better to control your anxiety level at a certain point. Here are some tips that might help you cope with anxiety:
Þ You may ask yourself some questions in order to defeat the uncertainty. Its more helpful to ask questions that are answerable. (Instead of asking “How many days we will stay at home?” you can ask “How can I spend my day today?” and you can plan it).
Þ Limit your social media use and reachonly the right information from trustable sources (experts of the subject and scientific sources).
Þ Keep in contact with your loved ones. When you feel stressed talk to someone to calm yourself down.
Þ Take good care of your body. Stay hydrated and do some light exercise. You can meditate and practice yoga. Even if you think those won’t work to decrease your anxiety level give it a try. You will see the difference as you try and give it some time.
Þ Sleeping is crucial for your physical and mental health. Your changed routine may affect you sleeping hours; however, try to be awake and stay active in the daytime even if you do not have a task to do.
Þ Try to find some hobbies that will relax you and make you feel happy. Even if you cannot focus at the beginning please do not give up. You can do these when you cannot focus on your work for a short while and then you can turn back to your study again.
Þ Please try to adapt your previous routines to physical isolation circumstances and keep on doing them in these new circumstances.
Þ You can change your environment in the way you like and enjoy. You can make or buy some candles, decoration materials, etc. Please arrange your study area in a way that doesn’t disrupt you.
Þ Preparation before the lectures can help you focus better. You can take notes while receiving the online education. This can also help increasing your concentration and learning. When you feel distracted please do not leave the lecture and try to keep following the material.
Þ You can give some time to yourself. Everyone has different adaptation and needs different amount of time to adapt to change. Do not compare yourself to others. Everyone is trying to adapt during this unusual period. Try to be compassionate towards yourself and others
You do have the inner sources (your loved ones, your aims, your skills, etc.) and strength to adapt to this kind of stressful situation. You can remind these sources to yourself when you get anxious and you can get help from your social environment and vice versa. When you feel overwhelmed and cannot cope with difficult emotions, thoughts and behaviors, you may seek help from a specialist.
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