Life is full of stressful situations as it is but with the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide, people suffering from anxiety are faced with more pressure on their mental state.
While few cases are confirmed in Namibia, news, non-stop statistics, and safety tips on all media platforms can be overwhelming.
The U.S Centre for Disease Control (CDC) points out population groups to be at high risk of stress during this epidemic:
- Teens and children
- Older people and those with pre-existing chronic health conditions
- Health care professionals and all others at the front lines on the fight against COVID-19.
- People with mental health conditions including substance use problems
Those who are more at risk of being highly stressed can, however, follow some guidelines to help them stay calm. Beauty Boois, a wellness coach who has worked as a Psychology professional and who was herself clinically diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder shares the following tips for navigating anxiety in the wake of COVID-19:
- Take time to learn helpful coping mechanisms or ways of managing anxiety. Activities like deep breathing exercises are calm and relaxing on the body and reduce cortisol (the stress neurotransmitter).
- Find ways to identify triggers. Do this when you’re ready and in a safe space that you’ve created yourself. Get to the root of it and try to work through each one. The best way to heal is through awareness and by acknowledging (not denial).
- Take a break from the news and social media. Being bombarded with news of catastrophe, fake news and fear-mongering can be overwhelming. Log off and give yourself a break. Be informed about safety precautions but steer clear from all the fear-mongering.