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Managing coronavirus anxiety

For any of us who struggle with anxiety, and even for those who normally don’t, this is a difficult time. Coronavirus is all over the news, supermarket shelves are stripped of loo roll and every business and workplace seems to have different guidelines on how we should be handling the situation. 

As with any period of worry, anxiety spikes when we feel out of control or when we don’t have the information we need. To some extent this is part of the human condition. In a deep, basic sense we are not fully in control of things and there is an ongoing existential challenge around accepting this and letting things be as they are. On the other hand it is important for us to feel as empowered as we can and to achieve a ‘good enough’ level of security so that we can function.

Anxiety is there for an evolutionary reason. It alerts us to danger and helps us move away from it. Therefore it’s ok to listen to our current anxiety about coronavirus and take some extra precautions to keep ourselves safe such as more intensive and regular hand-washing. But sometimes our anxiety is like an alarm that won’t switch off and that’s when we need to consciously draw on a compassionate inner voice that can reassure us that it is understandable to be worried when things are uncertain, that we are doing the very best we can, and that the most likely outcome is much better than the worst case scenario.

For more help and information on managing anxiety visit mental health charity MIND’s anxiety page 

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