What is Pandemic Anxiety and What do we do About it?
by Anne Marielle Eugenio, May 07, 2020 2:56am
Art by Dani Elevazo
Outbreaks can be stressful. This is what the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) said. With a disease as widespread as COVID-19, our physical health is not the only one at risk, even our mental state can be affected too. It’s hard to keep our minds at ease when we worry about our personal safety and our loved ones’ lives.
Pandemic Anxiety literally means anxiety in the midst of a pandemic. We normally feel anxious in times when we are being threatened--and COVID-19 is a big threat to our health situations. There’s fear and panic but know you are not the only one who has these emotions.
The Symptoms of Pandemic Anxiety
Teens, senior citizens, people with chronic disease and mental health conditions, and even frontliners are susceptible to pandemic anxiety. But they are not limited to these people, maybe your next door neighbor or your brother are in this state. Our bodies continue to feel we are under a dangerous situation.
People who have pandemic anxiety usually experience symptoms like shortness of breath, muscle pain, even headaches and nausea. Paranoia can even lead people to suspect they have COVID-19 when in reality, they are just overstressed. Other cases involve digestive problems and difficulty in sleeping.
The Healthy Way to Cope
As we say, it’s okay not to feel okay, but that doesn’t mean we will dwell on anxiety. We can’t control COVID-19, but we can find ways to control and stabilize our emotions. One way is to take a break from social media and news. It’s important to keep updated, but if it causes you to stress out, you can stop for a while.
Eating healthy, exercising regularly, and even observing your skincare routine will be useful in stabilizing your emotions. Find something fun to do like reading or watching light series. Most importantly, don’t isolate yourself.
Social distancing should be observed, but we should not distance ourselves from our peers. Give them a call or turn on that Facetime. Talking to somebody can help you relieve that fear and panic. Who knows? Maybe your friend needs someone to talk to as well.
We may be in the era of social distancing, but pandemic anxiety is something we don’t have to deal alone. It is this time of outbreak that we need to help each other. And maybe soon, we will overcome, not only COVID-19, but also our mental health situations.