Center for Integrative Psychiatry

How to cope with anxiety during the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stressful and challenging time for many people around the world. The threat of illness, death, isolation, financial loss, and uncertainty has increased the levels of anxiety and depression among the population. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25% in the first year of the pandemic.

If you are feeling anxious or depressed because of the pandemic, you are not alone. There are ways to cope with your emotions and seek help if you need it. In this blog post, we will explain what pandemic anxiety is, what causes it, what are its symptoms, and how you can manage it.

What is pandemic anxiety?

Pandemic anxiety is a term that describes the feelings of fear, worry, nervousness, or panic that are triggered or worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Pandemic anxiety can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or health status. However, some people may be more vulnerable than others, such as:

  • People who have pre-existing mental health conditions, such as anxiety disorders or depression
  • People who have pre-existing physical health conditions, such as asthma, cancer, or heart disease
  • People who work in health care or other essential services
  • People who live alone or are socially isolated
  • People who have experienced loss or trauma due to the pandemic
  • People who have low income or face financial difficulties
  • Young people and women 

Pandemic anxiety can interfere with your daily functioning, your relationships, your work performance, your physical health, and your quality of life. It can also increase your risk of developing other mental health problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, or suicidal thoughts.

What causes pandemic anxiety?

Pandemic anxiety can be caused by a variety of factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as:

  • The fear of getting infected or infecting others
  • The uncertainty about the future and the duration of the pandemic
  • The lack of control over the situation and the changes in routines
  • The exposure to negative or conflicting information in the media or social media
  • The isolation from friends, family, and community
  • The loss of loved ones, income, or opportunities
  • The stress of balancing work and life, home and childcare responsibilities
  • The lack of access to normal coping resources or support services

What are the symptoms of pandemic anxiety?

Pandemic anxiety can manifest in different ways depending on the person and the situation. Some common symptoms include:

  • Feeling restless, irritable, or on edge
  • Having difficulty concentrating or sleeping
  • Experiencing racing thoughts or excessive worry
  • Feeling overwhelmed or hopeless
  • Having panic attacks or chest pain
  • Avoiding certain places, people, or activities
  • Having changes in appetite or weight
  • Experiencing headaches, muscle tension, or fatigue
  • Having mood swings or crying spells

How to cope with pandemic anxiety?

Pandemic anxiety can be managed with some self-care strategies and professional help if needed. Here are some tips on how to cope with pandemic anxiety:

Take care of your physical health

Your physical health can affect your mental health and vice versa. Therefore, it is important to take care of your body by:

  • Eating a balanced and nutritious diet
  • Drinking enough water and avoiding alcohol and caffeine
  • Getting enough sleep and following a regular sleep schedule
  • Exercising regularly and doing activities that you enjoy
  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or massage

Take care of your mental health

Your mental health can also benefit from some simple practices that can help you reduce stress and improve your mood. For example:

  • Limit your exposure to news and social media that can trigger your anxiety. Choose reliable sources of information and check them only once or twice a day.
  • Stay connected with your friends, family, and support network. Reach out to them regularly by phone, video call, text message, or email. Share your feelings and concerns and offer support to others who may need it.
  • Focus on what you can control and accept what you cannot. Instead of worrying about things that are out of your hands, focus on what you can do to protect yourself and others from the virus. Follow the public health guidelines such as wearing a mask, washing your hands, and keeping a safe distance. Also, try to accept that some things may change due to the pandemic and adapt to them as best as you can.
  • Maintain a routine and a sense of normalcy. Try to keep a regular schedule for your work, meals, chores, and leisure activities. This can help you stay organized, productive, and motivated. Also, try to include some fun and enjoyable activities in your day, such as reading, listening to music, playing games, or watching a movie.
  • Seek professional help if you need it. If your anxiety is interfering with your daily life or causing you distress, do not hesitate to seek help from a mental health professional. You can contact your doctor, a therapist, a counselor, or a helpline. There are also online resources and apps that can offer you support and guidance.

Contact Us

If you are looking for professional help to cope with anxiety during the pandemic, you can contact the Center for Integrative Psychiatry. We are a team of experienced and compassionate mental health professionals who offer evidence-based and holistic treatments for various mental health conditions. We can help you with:

We offer online and in-person sessions, depending on your preference and availability. We also accept most insurance plans and offer sliding scale fees for those who qualify. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about our services, please visit our website or call us at 1-877-283-5336.

Medical disclaimer

The information provided in this blog post is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your doctor or other qualified health provider before making any changes to your health care plan or starting any new treatment. 

Final Words

Pandemic anxiety is a common and understandable reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. It can affect anyone and cause various physical and emotional symptoms. However, there are ways to cope with it and improve your well-being. By taking care of your physical and mental health, staying connected with others, focusing on what you can control, and seeking professional help if needed, you can overcome your anxiety and live a happier and healthier life.

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