WHAT IS ANXIETY

Anxiety encompasses feelings of worry, nervousness, or dread.

Although unpleasant, occasional bouts of anxiety are natural and sometimes even productive: By signaling that something isn’t quite right, anxiety can help people both avoid danger and make important and meaningful changes.

Anxiety disorders manifest in different ways, and are often diagnostically distinct.

Generalized anxiety disorder is a chronic state of severe worry and tension, often without provocation.

Panic disorder refers to sudden and repeated panic attacks—episodes of intense fear and discomfort that peak within a few minutes.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is marked by intrusive thoughts or compulsions to carry out specific behaviors, such as handwashing.

Post-traumatic stress disorder may develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Anxiety is often accompanied by depression, and the two share an underlying genetic architecture.

HOW TO RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS OF ANXIETY

Individuals suffering from anxiety may feel restless, on edge, and irritable. They may have difficulty concentrating or controlling their emotions. Physical symptoms can also include fatigue, trembling, trouble sleeping, stomach aches, headaches, and muscle tension.

FOUR SIGNS OF PTSD

  1. Flashbacks- Overwhelming and unwelcome memories of the trauma can resurface time and again. It can make one feel anxious because they continue to re-live the felt experience and emotion over and over again. Flashbacks can also come in the form of nightmares or troubling dreams.
  2. Avoiding possible trigger inducing events- You may try to avoid certain people or situations that may act as a reminder of the event or experience. For example, doctors or hospital.
  3. Experiencing hyperarousal- Feeling jittery or always on the edge is also observed in PTSD. One can experience issues with sleep or concentration as the mind is always on the lookout for signs of danger.
  4. Feeling negative about your surroundings- One might find it hard to trust people around and feel that the world is a dangerous place. Sense of guilt and shame can overpower, and one may end up feeling that they have not done enough to save oneself or others

HOW TO COPE WITH THIS SITUATION

  1. Devise Plan of Action- One of the best ways to manage anxiety pertaining to Covid-19 is to take safety measures as prescribed by valid sources. Be informed and stay up to update. Validate any news or information through trustworthy resources.
  2. Reach out for social support - Trauma can make us isolated. In the context of Covid-19 the phase of isolation itself can trigger a lot of anxiety and helplessness. Do not let the constant messages of social isolation make you emotionally distant too. Share your feelings with loved ones, Seek their understanding. Don't hesitate to take their support.
  3. Practice Relaxation techniques - It is good to resort to mindfulness, meditation or yoga, This will help de-clutter your thoughts that could be induced by intense negative emotions. This would also include to not engage in obsessive content or news related to Covid-19.
  4. Bring sense of control - How others practice preventive measures, the number of cases of covid-19, or the people's attitude these may not be in your control. Trying to focus on what is not in your control will only lead to hopelessness and frustration. Use THOUGHT STOP technique, where you practice saying STOP to your brain whenever it engages with concerns not in your control. Bring your focus to what YOU can do. Stock up a week's supply if frequent deliveries or going out brings a sense of anxiety to you.
  5. Reach out for professional help - if the signs continue for more than 2 weeks and self help does not work

TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY AND SPIRIT

At this time, all the tried-and-true stress management strategies apply such as eating healthy meals, getting plenty of sleep, and meditating. Beyond that, here are some tips for practicing self-care

  1. Be kind to yourself - Go easy on yourself if you’re experiencing more depression or anxiety than usual. You’re not alone in your struggles.
  2. Maintain a routine as best you can - Even if you’re stuck at home, try to stick to your regular sleep, school, meal, or work schedule. It can help maintain a sense of normalcy.
  3. Take time out for activities you enjoy - Read a good book, watch a comedy, play a fun board or video game, make something—whether it’s a new recipe, a craft, or a piece of art. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it takes you out of your worries.
  4. Find ways to exercise - Staying active will help you release anxiety, relieve stress, and manage your mood. While the gym is closed, you can still cycle, hike, or walk. Or if you’re stuck at home, look online for exercise videos you can follow. There are many things you can do even without equipment, such as yoga and exercises that use your own bodyweight.
  5. Take up a relaxation practice - When stressors throw your nervous system out of balance, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can restore some state of equilibrium. Regular practice delivers the greatest benefits, so try to do some every day.
  6. Get out in nature, if possible - Sunshine and fresh air will do you good. Even a walk around your neighbourhood can make you feel better- though be sure to avoid crowds and obey the rules and restrictions in your area.

NOTE: THIS IS INFORMATION COLLATED FROM PUBLICLY AVAILABLE WEBSITES, WE ARE NOT, NOR DO WE CLAIM TO BE, PROPONENTS NOR ANY AUTHORITY ON THIS TOPIC.
PLEASE CONSULT A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL FOR COMPLETE DETAILS.