Global Trauma and Current Events: Here's How to Relieve Anxiety During the Pandemic

Global Trauma and Current Events: Here's How to Relieve Anxiety During the Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has sent a lot of people into a stress response. Being stuck inside for many days, working in the middle of a global pandemic, and having less social interaction can all be detrimental to our mental health.

If you are finding yourself developing anxious feelings and fear during the pandemic, there are
some ways you can get help and find relief. In all reality, the pandemic has been traumatic for many people. With loss, isolation, and the desire to work hard even in dangerous situations, many people feel lost.

Here are some ways to relieve anxiety and keep yourself mentally safe during these scary times.

Stay Off of the News Pages

During the pandemic, tons of new news articles and stories are coming out. If you turn on the news on your TV, you'll likely find a new story about how Covid-19 is impacting your local community and the world. It can be terrifying to see this every day.

Although it's essential to stay up to date on health information and keep your family safe, it's also important to keep your mental health safe. Hearing that people have died every day and that Covid-19 is around the corner everywhere you go can make you highly anxious.

Try a few days to a week of not engaging in news stories. See if it helps you calm down a bit. Instead, fill your time with positive news and the small happy moments in your personal life. If you have children, spend time with them outdoors in a socially distanced area. It's good to put energy into the family when things are scary.

Don't Partake in Compulsive Health Behaviors

During the pandemic, more and more people have developed compulsive behaviors concerning health. Health anxiety is also at an all-time high. You may be frequently worried about your health or the consequences of catching Covid-19. It's hard to not have this fear when you hear about it all the time.

You may be experiencing compulsions if you:

  • Read about your symptoms online every time you have one
  • Frequently check the news to hear about the pandemic
  • Go to the doctor every time you feel a symptom
  • Take many Covid tests throughout your day or week

It's normal to feel scared, and there's nothing wrong with you for feeling this way. However, the only way to reduce anxiety in this scenario is to stop compulsive behaviors. Checking online every few hours to ensure you're not sick will not actually ensure that you are not ill.

Instead, look up some coping mechanisms for anxiety that can help you find relief. Art has been shown to be especially beneficial for those struggling with anxiety and fear.

See a Counselor Online

Luckily, in the age of the pandemic, more and more doctors are moving online for their practice. It's safer for you and for your doctor. Plus, you can get help from the comfort of your own bed—no more getting up an hour early to get dressed when you don't feel well.

Online counselors can often be more affordable than in-person counselors. You can express your fears about current events and receive guidance, as well as coping skills to use at home. Since you're already in a safe environment, you'll feel much safer than in an unfamiliar office of a new therapist.

If you previously had therapy before the pandemic, see if your old therapist is now offering telehealth therapy. You can meet online and resume where you left off with previous treatment. It's a win-win situation.

Some more benefits of certain types of online therapy include:

  • The ability to email your therapist
  • Online chats with your therapist
  • The option to video chat or have the session over the phone

You don't even have to show your face if you don't want to. Anxiety about physical appearance can be significant in people who are struggling with mental health, so having that option can always feel relieving.

Find New Ways to Meet With Friends

During the pandemic, most people have lost some level of social interaction. Beforehand, you may have gone out to the bars with friends or gone around shopping on your weekend off of work. Nowadays, it's harder to socialize and find situations where everyone is comfortable to hang out.

Luckily, there are solutions. If you and your friends are all vaccinated and feeling well, you can choose someone's house to meet up at and have a night in. You can watch movies, eat popcorn, bake, and drink your favorite drinks.

Some more ideas of social-distancing friend hangouts include:

  • Picnics in the park- Space your blankets out, so you're not all sitting in the same spot. Everyone brings their own food.
  • Ordering delivery and video chatting- Have a video chat instead of a regular group chat. Everyone orders their favorite delivery food to their house.
  • Homemade drive-In theater- Set up a large screen in your driveway, in a field, or in your backyard. Have all your friends drive up in their cars and sit in the trunk while you all watch a film. Bring your own food.

There are plenty of social-distancing hangouts that won't get anyone sick but are still fun and unique. Without the pandemic, maybe we never would've tried any of these. It's a time to be positive and make the best with what you have.

Learn About Yourself

If you're social-distancing or spending a lot of time alone, now is an excellent time to learn more about yourself. Find out what you enjoy doing alone and what your hobbies are. Learn a new skill. You could start baking if you've always wanted to.

You can also take a skill course online. Read more about calming yourself during the pandemic by checking out BetterHelp's section on current events:

Now is the time to learn everything you had been putting off before. If you have a family, let them join in. Kids love working on crafts and helping their parents. Your partner will also be happy to spend time with you.