Tools to calm our coronavirus anxiety
As we slowly make our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, we also face another condition that acts like a virus: anxiety. Not one of us is a stranger to the panic and stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as we collectively struggle with seemingly unanswerable questions like: How long will this last? Will my family be safe? How do I work and take care of my children at the same time? Will the economy survive this?
By now, we’re all likely well versed in how to prevent the spread of COVID-19: routinely washing our hands with soap and water, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, staying home when possible, avoiding close contact with others and wearing cloth masks when going out in public. But are we as familiar with ways to stop the spread of anxiety?
Our coping mechanisms for dealing with the unknown can be very different, depending on our personal backgrounds, beliefs and community. Techniques that help some may not work as well for others. We’ve put together a list of tools and resources to help support you in managing your anxiety – we hope you find at least some of them helpful!
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Stress & Coping site is full of practical tools and resources for different groups, like parents, people who are at high risk, and essential workers.
- Shine, a self-care community, has partnered with Mental Health America in order to create a one-stop resource of evidence-based tools to help with managing your COVID-19 anxiety and stress. Their toolkit includes articles, meditations, access to mental health experts, anxiety screenings and more.
- Meditation and mindfulness have a proven track record for relieving anxiety and even strengthening our immune systems.1 Here are some mindfulness tools for you to explore:
- Calm, a meditation and relaxation aid, has created a library of mindfulness tools including soothing meditations, sleep stories for both adults and kids, movement exercises, journals and music. All of the resources on this page are free to use and share.
- Headspace, a meditation app, is providing free access to its premium services for workers in a variety of settings, including: Headspace for healthcare professionals, Headspace for employers and employees and Headspace for educators.
- Judson Brewer, an addiction psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for treating addictions, has been posting daily short videos about how to stay mentally healthy, calm and connected during these difficult times.
1How Mindfulness Training Can Boost Your Immune System. Cleveland Clinic.