Life Lesson: Coping with Anxiety during the Coronavirus Pandemic

By Andy O'Shaughnessy

If you’re constantly feeling worried and anxious about the recent Coronavirus epidemic, let me first begin by assuaging your concerns and tell you you’re not alone.

Given the unexpected nature of this global epidemic, everyone will be going through some amount of uncertainty at the moment. This is problematic if it begins to constantly occupy your mind, becoming the main focus of your day.

If you’re feeling stressed and anxious, finding it difficult to sleep or increasing the amount you smoke or drink to cope, this article is for you. By the end of it, you’ll be in better stead to start taking control of your days again and you might even start learning the Ukele (read more to find out about that).

Although I am not medically trained, as someone who suffered with anxiety in the past, I feel that I am well placed to share with you some of the strategies I used to help me deal with my anxious feelings.

Change How You Interact With The World

Let me ask you a question. How are you interacting with the world right now? That sounds like an odd thing to ask because it’s likely you’re following the sound advice of the government which is to avoid contact with other people, stay inside and follow the guidelines for correct hygiene (hand-washing etc).

This question has more to do with your attention. Right now, it is centred on the things you cannot control not things you can control.

How many times did you watch the news or check your phone today? If you’re like the rest of us, you click, tap and swipe your phone 2,617 times per day.

The chances are, you’re reading news, watching videos and spending time on social media getting inundated with the latest Coronavirus updates. This is not healthy. Are you keeping score of those who have contracted the illness? Are you measuring it’s spread? Did you read the latest fake news about how garlic goes some way to protecting you?

It’s important to stay informed so it would be remiss of me to advise you against watching the news but you do not need to get hourly updates. Watch the news once a day. That’s it. It’s there to be punctually informative. It’s not there to be a constant drip-feed of anxiety serving solely to make you even more anxious.

This is arguably worse with social medi