Our first article in this series introduced mental health as a co-morbidity of the lockdown imposed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This current article will deal with accepting stress and anxiety as a normal response to the current situation that we are in.

Crises are often stressful for the general population. In many cases, this may cause fear, anxiety, elevated stress levels, depression, rage and even suicidal tendencies in people due to their disruptive nature. Pandemics like the COVID-19 are especially frightening for people due to the highly infectious nature of this disease and the inability of most countries to curb the spread of the virus.

Nearly everyone has been taking care of their physical health these days. Exercising, maintaining social distancing, following a handwashing and sanitization regimen, avoiding contact and isolation are some typical examples. However, our focus on mental health has taken a backseat during these trying times.

For most of us, this is no more than an extension of a stressful time in our lives. However, the pandemic and the resultant lockdowns have become exceptionally harrowing times for children, the elderly and those who suffer from anxiety or other stress-related conditions.

Uncertainty and its effect on our lives

Every individual is different, and so are their levels of tolerance towards uncertainty. For many of us, handling the uncertainty about the coronavirus pandemic has been one of the hardest things that we have encountered till date. This uncertainty also causes us to spend a lot of our time watching the news or ingesting a lot of extra information.

This does not do much except trapping us in a downward “what if” spiral. As many of us are already facing an uncertain future due to virus holding the world economy, job opportunities, financial conditions and people’s lives at ransom, stress and anxiety are common – although unwanted guests.

Accepting and understanding your anxiety

Understanding a problem is the first step towards solving it. This also holds for stress and anxiety during these trying times. As no one knows whether they will be impacted or how bad can things get in the near future, it is very easy to move from heightened stress levels to getting overwhelmed by dread and panic.

However, it is also possible to address such situations by understanding what you can do to manage and control your fear, anxiety and stress levels. Accept the fact that you’re feeling anxious or stressed out. This will help you in addressing it better.

There are many things that you can do to manage your fears and anxiety well, even in these trying times. Coping with anxiety by addressing its triggers and causal factors can go a long way in helping you manage your anxiety better.

Our next article will cover coping strategies that will help you deal with stress, depression and anxiety during and after the quarantine. Stay tuned!

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