Author: Marzena Podkalicka, M.A.
As the COVID-19 pandemic was unexpected and for many, anxiety provoking, it is no wonder that news of the progressing delta variant is now contributing to ongoing anxiety. Some might struggle with how to control or manage their anxiety, which in turn may impact their ability to function in every day situations. You are not alone. If you are currently experiencing anxiety related to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the following recommendations are suggested for you:
1) The flow of information about COVID-19 from the media might increase risks for mental health problems. It is important to be informed about the current information; however, some information might not be real and might increase coronavirus anxiety. It is recommended to stay informed, but only use trusted sources such as the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Institute of Health. Also, it is important to limit media exposure because too much information might be overwhelming (APA, 2020).
2) Education about personal hygiene during the outbreak of the new coronavirus variant is very important. It helps to minimize risk of contacting the new coronavirus and reduces coronavirus anxiety by having control over our own actions. Washing hands frequently and not touching your face is recommended. Covering your mouth with an elbow when coughing or sneezing, staying home when feeling sick, and seeking medical guidance via phone, when needed, is highly suggested (MIT Medical, 2020).
3) During the shelter in place order people might worry about their finances, lack of social engagement, and might experience loneliness. Social connections are important during that time. Calling family members and friends or using social media to stay connected helps to reduce the feeling of loneliness (APA, 2020).
4) Practice self-care during the new coronavirus outbreak by creating routines in one’s daily life, eating healthy food, engaging in relaxation techniques, and getting regular sleep. One of the ways to relax is to practice the visualization technique. Close your eyes, breathe in and out slowly, and think about a favorite place such as a beach, mountains, or favorite parks. Think of these times and the feelings of relaxation they induce. This type of visualization may help to cope with the stressors of the pandemic in an effective way. Another way to relax is to engage in the progressive muscle relaxation technique. Through tensing and relaxing your muscles while breathing, individuals can gain control over their anxiety (APA, 2020).
5) Managing financial anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak is essential. The new situation might feel overwhelming for people. Applying for unemployment, family medical leave, or using sick leave at the office could help during the time out of work. Checking and using local resources that advertise to help people might help to reduce anxiety about how to get through this time. Prioritizing bills and developing a list of what to pay for first and checking new rules about rent and mortgage payments will help people take control over their finances.
For more information, please visit:
American Psychological Association. (2020). Frequently asked questions practicing psychologists have about COVID-
MIT Medical. (2020). Three ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.https://medical.mit.edu/three-ways-