Building An Anxiety Care Plan to Cope During COVID
The coronavirus stirred up fear and panic within us. Some are dealing with the anxiety caused by coronavirus because it is a perceived threat. For others, the uncertainty revolving the pandemic is so hard to handle.
Related Article: Coronavirus Anxiety: What Is It?
Everyone has a different reaction towards the pandemic. Wearing masks for some is no big deal, while others get triggered and get PTSD flashbacks. For some, social distancing and remaining in your home for days is hard. For others, it's considered a regular routine.
So, how can you build an anxiety care plan to manage the anxiety you have during COVID? Here are some simple steps:
STAY INFORMED, BUT NOT OBSESSED
Staying informed is different from obsessing over the statistics and data about the pandemic. This is important to know as you create your anxiety care plan. Almost 5,000 articles are created about the pandemic every day. If you try to read all of it, it will be overwhelming.
"Informing yourself about safety precautions is essential for your physical health. Understanding the signs and symptoms of anxiety is crucial to your mental health"- CDC
Both are important, and both must be maintained. This pandemic may physically affect you through direct contact. But, the coronavirus anxiety may affect you without you having to be in physical contact with someone..
It's important to stick to reliable sources and filter what you read. When it comes to the coronavirus and its effects, reliable data may come from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Psychological Association.
If articles or blogs are written as per the said sites, it can also be considered reliable.
CREATE A SCHEDULE
Worldwide lockdowns affect everyone. Even systems are affected: Schools, Government, Healthcare, and Businesses are closed while some are slowly opening.
Your typical structure has been taken away from you, and it's okay to grieve about what was once 'normal.'
An anxiety care plan involves structure. When you create a schedule, you organize your plans. With a pandemic that's out of control, being able to focus on things you can control is a good thing.
Some of the things you can add to your schedule are:
- Scheduling and managing your screen or phone time
- Maintaining a solid sleep schedule
- Creating time for learning
- Finding ways to advocate or help others out
- Inserting some regular routines like taking a shower even though you're stuck at home, cleaning your bedroom, watering the plants, or doing daily chores
- Making time to unwind or relax
- Doing fun and SAFE activities
- Establishing a time to evaluate schedules you have to change
CREATE A PLAN FOR SUDDEN ANXIETY ATTACKS
One of the benefits of creating an anxiety care plan is to prepare you for bouts of anxiety or fear. When you experience anxiety, it can be overwhelming, and it usually leads you to manifest symptoms of panic attacks or anxiety attacks.
A portion of your anxiety care plan must be focused on helpful tools or calming techniques that will ground you.
What are the healthy things you do to knock yourself back to your senses? It might be breathing techniques, calling a reliable friend, meditating, or exercising.
WRITE DOWN EMERGENCY MENTAL HEALTH HOTLINES
For some, an anxiety care plan helps. But, some may not only be dealing with the coronavirus. Relationship or personal issues are a common struggle in these times.
Abuse, addiction, violence, caregiving for the elderly, or having PTSD are struggles that may cause extreme distress. You merge that with the pandemic, and those who are suffering are at higher risk for having severe mental health struggles during the pandemic.
In crises like these, it's important to get immediate help. Here are the lists of hotlines that could provide immediate help:
- Call 911
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English; 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish
- Lifeline Crisis Chat - visit their site
- National Domestic Violence Hotline - Call 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
- National Sexual Assault Hotline- 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
- National Sexual Assault Online Chat - visit their site
- National Child Abuse Hotline- Call 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
- Veteran's Crisis Line - Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text 8388255
- The Eldercare Locator- Call 1-800-677-1116 or visit their site
- **Treatment Services Locator Website** - Visit their site
- Disaster Distress Helpline - Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs for English or Háblanos for Spanish to 66746.
Don't be afraid to get the help you need. Once you create an anxiety care plan make sure you follow it. An anxiety care plan will only be effective if you carry out what you've written.