3 ways to deal with anxiety about the novel coronavirus epidemic

3 ways to deal with anxiety about the novel coronavirus epidemic
3 ways to deal with anxiety about the novel coronavirus epidemic

With the news full of terrifying stories about the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-19, also known as COVID-19, it's very easy to get anxious. It is quite normal to feel some anxiety about an epidemic of this magnitude, because you are not the only one. But at the same time, you should keep calm, especially if you are following government recommendations on how to protect yourself. Fortunately, there are things you can do to allay your fears.


Method 1 of 3: Develop a realistic mindset

Deal with Coronavirus Anxiety Step 1

Step 1. Get information through reliable sources

This could be the government site. Chances are you've heard a lot about the novel coronavirus, and some of this information may be inaccurate or out of date. In addition, you might come across some misconceptions on social media. To be sure you have reliable and accurate information, consult sources such as the government website and that of the World Health Organization (WHO).

  • WHO keeps updated information on the current COVID-19 pandemic here.
  • You can get government information here.
Deal with Coronavirus Anxiety Step 3

Step 2. Reduce the frequency of viewing updated information

In fact, you should limit this frequency to once or twice a day. While it's good to stay informed, constantly watching or reading the latest news can get overwhelming in no time. You'd better choose a specific time instead to keep up to date with the latest information so you don't have to think about COVID-19 throughout the day. Do not visit news sites or turn on the news outside of these fixed times, and do not go to social networks if you find many updates there.

For example, you could watch a news program in the morning and check up-to-date information in the evening

Deal with Coronavirus Anxiety Step 3

Step 3. Keep in mind that the majority of cases are mild

In addition, the majority of people recover. Since the information about the coronavirus can seem very scary, it's normal for you to be scared. However, be aware that 80% of cases are mild and it even happens that people affected do not realize that they are carriers of the virus. Also, people who are very sick often feel better, so try not to worry. Finally, there are no confirmed cases in some areas, you may not be at risk at all.

  • The new coronavirus causes symptoms like fever, cough and shortness of breath, similar to those of the common cold or the flu.
  • Confirmed cases rarely involve children, so you don't need to worry too much about your children's health. With preventive measures, such as hand washing, the risk to children is low.


people are generally at low risk for complications, so try not to be afraid. The reason governments and news outlets are urging people to stay home and make certain arrangements is because the virus spreads so easily and could be dangerous for a small group of high-risk patients. If you take steps to protect yourself, you will also be able to protect your loved ones and friends.

Deal with Coronavirus Anxiety Step 4

Step 4. Share useful information with family and friends

You are able to help yourself and at the same time help others to be calmer in the face of the novel coronavirus epidemic by sharing any useful information you can find. In other words, if you find recent information about COVID-19 on a reputable news source or on the government website, post a link on social media or you can email it to friends or family members who are concerned about this situation.

  • By staying calm and simply sharing concrete information, you will set a good example for others and help prevent widespread anxiety and panic.
  • In case you know someone who is spreading inaccurate information, it is important to correct them in a calm and non-judgmental manner. For example, you could say something like, “I know a lot of people say it's not safe to touch packages from China, but the WHO says the virus goes away quickly on items such as postal items. "
  • Provide links to substantiate any information you share.


The World Health Organization has a section titled 'End the Misconceptions' on its Novel Coronavirus Information page that covers the most common misconceptions related to the COVID-19 outbreak. If you read something that you think is not correct, you can check it at this link.

Method 2 of 3: Manage your emotions

Deal with Coronavirus Anxiety Step 5

Step 1. Share your feelings with your loved ones who are sympathetic

If you are still concerned about what is going on with the novel coronavirus despite all the precautions you have taken, it may be helpful to discuss any concerns you have. Contact a friend or family member to discuss your feelings. Maybe you both can feel better after having this conversation.

  • Do not tell anyone who is already panicking about the virus or spreading inaccurate or sensational information. Instead, talk to someone with a calm nature who can help you deal with your worries in a realistic and balanced way.
  • You might say something like, “Dad, I can't stop worrying about the situation with COVID-19. Do you have time to talk about it? "
Deal with Coronavirus Anxiety Step 6

Step 2. Do relaxation activities

Do relaxation activities that can help you relax. Activities and exercises that reduce stress will help you feel more relaxed and better control your emotions when you feel anxious. In addition, they can help you get rid of your fears. When you start to feel anxiety about the coronavirus, do something that can help you feel calm and at peace. For example, you could:

  • to meditate;
  • practice yoga;
  • go for a walk or jog;
  • spending time with your family and friends;
  • read or watch a funny TV show;
  • practice your hobbies or do creative projects.
Deal with Coronavirus Anxiety Step 7

Step 3. Write down how you feel

This will make it easier for you to deal with your feelings. Writing down your concerns can help you understand them better and make them less overwhelming. So write all your thoughts about COVID-19 in a notebook, journal or digital document. You don't have to make judgments about the thoughts or feelings you are having. All you have to do is write them down.

As an example, you could write something like, “I can't stop thinking about this report I read this morning on the coronavirus and it scares me. I'm afraid it will spread to my city. "

Deal with Coronavirus Anxiety Step 8

Step 4. Try to imagine the worst possible scenario to define your fears

While it may seem counterproductive, fear and anxiety experts say imagining your worst fears can help make them more manageable. Write down the worst possible scenario related to the novel coronavirus you can imagine or say it out loud and save it to your phone. Read it or play it back to yourself. Soon you will realize that the likelihood of this scenario happening is less than you expected (and therefore will be less scary).

As an example, you could say something like, “I'm afraid that someone with COVID-19 will come to my school and infect everyone and we will all end up seriously ill. "

Deal with Coronavirus Anxiety Step 9

Step 5. Talk to a therapist

Do this if the anxiety interferes with your daily life. If you cannot alleviate the anxiety related to COVID-19, it may be helpful to see a therapist or psychologist. The professional will teach you coping techniques to manage your fears in a healthy way or may even prescribe medication to reduce the level of general anxiety. Contact a therapist or ask your doctor for recommendations. You may need additional help if:

  • your worries start to interfere with your ability to interact with others, to sleep or to work;
  • you have obsessive or intrusive thoughts about the coronavirus;
  • you are worried that your symptoms will not improve, even if your doctor tells you that you do not have this disease.


Search the internet for free helplines in your country and talk to professionals who can help ease your anxiety.

Method 3 of 3: Protect yourself from infection

Deal with Coronavirus Anxiety Step 10

Step 1. Observe social distancing

This will have the advantage of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing (or physical distancing) involves limiting contact with people. Stay home as long as possible and only go out for certain things like shopping or going to work. Also ask if it is possible to do your homework or work at home. If you've decided to go out with friends or family, limit the number of guests to ten people or less.

  • Focus on activities that you can do at home to have fun. Watch movies, play board games, have a nice meal, take a walk in the yard, or do something creative.
  • Remember, social distancing doesn't mean you should avoid socializing. In other words, you can keep in touch with your friends and relatives by phone, through social networks or video calls and messaging apps.
Deal with Coronavirus Anxiety Step 10

Step 2. Wash your hands frequently

Do this using lukewarm water and soap. One of the best and most effective ways to protect yourself from a contagious disease is to wash your hands. Do this whenever you use the toilet, after touching things in public places, or before eating or cooking. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with mild soap and lukewarm water. Be sure to wash your palms, between the fingers and the backs of the hands.

  • When you're done, use a clean, dry towel or paper towel to dry your hands.
  • In the absence of soap and water, use a hydroalcoholic gel to disinfect your hands, which you can keep in your purse or in your pocket.


some people claim that using hot air hand dryers can kill COVID-19, but this is not true. You can use it after washing your hands, but be aware that the hair dryer itself will not protect you from viruses.

Deal with Coronavirus Anxiety Step 11

Step 3. Keep your hands away from the face as much as you can

More specifically, keep them away from the eyes, nose, and mouth. Many viruses, including COVID-19, enter our bodies through the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes and mouth. So avoid touching your face unless you intend to wash yourself or apply skin care products, but remember to wash your hands first with water and soap.

In case you need to touch your face and you do not have access to soap and water, you can rub your hands with hydroalcoholic gel to disinfect your hands

Deal with Coronavirus Anxiety Step 13

Step 4. Stay away from people who are visibly sick

If someone near you sneezes, coughs, or seems to have a severe sore throat, keep your distance. Try to be at least 2 meters away at all times to reduce the risk of inhaling drops contaminated with the virus, in case she coughs or sneezes near you.

  • Don't assume someone is a carrier of the new coronavirus, especially if there are no confirmed cases in your area. Chances are, those you see coughing and sneezing have allergies, a cold, or the flu. However, it is always best to stay away from those who exhibit these symptoms.
  • You should always wash your hands thoroughly after you have finished interacting with a sick subject.
Deal with Coronavirus Anxiety Step 13

Step 5. Get enough sleep and eat well

This will keep your immune system strong. Taking care of your general health can reduce your chances of getting sick. To strengthen your immune system, eat nutritious, balanced meals with lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy sources of fat (such as vegetable oils, fish, seeds, and nuts). Make sure you get seven to nine hours of sleep if you're an adult, or eight to ten hours if you're still a teenager.

Staying physically active can also boost the immune system. Get at least half an hour of moderate physical activity a day. You could walk or garden

Deal with Coronavirus Anxiety Step 14

Step 6. Avoid unnecessary travel or going to affected areas

Since March 2020, it is better to avoid unnecessary travel in order to limit the spread of the virus. In addition, the government recommends that you do not leave your home unless it is very important. You should avoid going to seriously affected countries like USA, Spain, Italy, Germany, China, Iran, Turkey, etc. if you are currently in an area that is not yet too affected by this pandemic. However, be aware that travel guidelines are updated daily, so this may change.

  • You might have coronavirus-related advice for travelers here.
  • In case you need to travel to an area affected by COVID-19, you should avoid contact with sick people and wash your hands regularly with lukewarm water and soap. In case you do not have access to soap and water, you can use a gel containing between 60% and 95% alcohol to disinfect your hands.
Deal with Coronavirus Anxiety Step 15

Step 7. Contact your doctor

Do this if you have a cough, fever, or shortness of breath. These are common symptoms of COVID-19, although other symptoms like difficulty breathing can also occur. Contact the healthcare professional without further delay and inform them of any symptoms you have, your recent trips and tell them if you have been in contact with anyone who is potentially infected. He'll tell you if you need to have a scan. In the meantime, stay home so you don't infect others.

  • Don't panic if you have these symptoms. Unless you live in an area where the new coronavirus is very common, you are unlikely to be infected with it. The doctor will have up-to-date information on COVID-19 and provide you with the best possible advice.
  • If you feel that you are sick, you should protect others by staying as much as possible at home, washing your hands regularly, and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or the crook of your elbow when you feel the pain. need to cough or sneeze.


always contact the doctor before going to visit him. He will have to take special precautions to protect himself and staff members, to protect his other patients from the disease if he suspects that you have COVID-19.

Expert advice

Keep in mind these tips for staying calm in the face of the novel coronavirus outbreak:

  • Give yourself a break to keep up with the news.

    Make an effort not to spend a lot of time saturating yourself with information associated with the coronavirus on the media, especially in newspapers, social media, alternative media.The time it takes to digest all of this information per day varies from person to person, but generally less is more.

  • Take the time to relax.

    Each of us has our own proven methods of relaxation. For some it may be exercise, yoga or meditation, while for others it may be reading a newspaper or taking a hot bath. Still others may feel better talking to a friend on the phone or making video calls.

  • Write reminder notes.

    Post sticky notes in visible places around the house. You could write things like "Did you exercise today?" And "Did you call your friends today? This way you will remember to focus on what really helps you feel rejuvenated.

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