Feelings of anxiety and stress have become a common occurrence in the days of the coronavirus. While continuing to remain vigilant on things like hygiene – including washing your hands with soap for 20 seconds or more and wearing face-masks to maintain your physical health – it’s also incredibly important to check-in with your mental health and general wellbeing too.
Putting things into perspective, high levels of stress and anxiety do take a toll on your immune system and body. The World Health Organisation has already made a public service announcement on the matter, releasing five tips to cope with stress during this period of time:
- Pause. Breath. Reflect
- Keep to a healthy routine
- Connect with others
- Be kind to yourself and others
- Reach out for help if you need it
We speak to psychologist Dr. Hannah Reidy from Mind Hong Kong and mental health advocate Aaron Stadlin-Robbie, founder of Talking Mental, on how to manage and cope with feelings of stress and anxiety.
Why are we feeling stressed and anxious during this period of time?
There appears to be a number of reasons as to why people are becoming more anxious and stressed. As a species, humans don’t like to feel like they’re not in control and don’t like to not know what’s going on.
“There was a lot of information, we weren’t sure what was right and what was wrong. There was the worry about people becoming infected or others becoming infected, people who lived with their relationships were vulnerable and those who were separated from their relationships were worrying about their loved ones. There was a general health anxiety” says Dr. Hannah Reidy.
After that initial worry, when we became more used to living with the pandemic, there was also the worrying about the future. Things like “worrying about jobs, and the economy, worrying about finances, and there’s a lot of anxiety in a loss of routine as well” says Dr Reidy.
Feelings of being socially isolated from everyone can also lead to feelings of loneliness. Humans are social creatures and not being able to see friends and family or losing physical contact with other can slowly begin to weigh on you.