With COVID-19 spreading across the globe, everyone is now facing massive disruptions in their daily lives. Despite its seemingly flu-like symptoms, the novel coronavirus can be lethal for a small but significant subset of the population. The fear of catching the virus, as well as economic uncertainties brought about by social distancing measures, can be a source of anxiety for many people. Women’s health can suffer during these trying times, so here are tips for women to mitigate their distress and to cultivate their physical and mental health.
Understand The Risks
Research shows that women are more likely to suffer from anxiety than men. Perhaps brain chemistry or hormonal changes play a role here. Behaviorally, women have different coping strategies. They are more likely to resort to stress-inducing rumination, compared to men who prefer problem-solving based rumination. While these are generalizations, they show that women in general face high risks from anxiety-inducing scenarios, such as a growing pandemic.
The main takeaway here is for you to see how certain mindsets and behaviors can make you more prone to anxiety. For example, fight the urge to dwell on stressful thoughts. In light of the pandemic, focus your energy and resources on finding ways to reduce the risk of exposure for you and your loved ones. It may also help to distract yourself so that you can break the continuous thoughts of fear and dread in your mind.
Learn About The Situation
You may think that you know what you need, but it won’t hurt to increase your awareness about the current situation. Learning about the specific events unfolding now will help reduce the uncertainty in your mind. Doubt is an authoritative source of stress and anxiety, and the antidote to it is awareness.
Particularly, read about what different stakeholders, such as the government or businesses, are doing in these trying times. You might also consider learning more about what future scenarios look like weeks or even months from now.
Be Wary Of Taking Information
However, take note that not all information sources are useful. Many articles and videos only serve to sow discontent and fear as a marketing strategy. These types of content have clickbait titles and present sensationalized content, all as a way to attract more viewers. Stay away from these content as much as possible.
Despite what naysayers may proclaim, there is lots of hope. The world will not go back to the status quo after the health crisis ends because society now has a new normal to anticipate.
Stay Connected To People
Most people find joy in connecting with people. Women’s preferences vary. Some like to talk to as many people as they can in a single sitting, while others like to spend long hours conversing with someone very close to them. However, strict social distancing measures can mean that you only have limited opportunities to socialize.
Communication technologies shine during these times. You can choose from various messaging and telecommunications software to remain in touch with others. Spend some time every day, catching up with your family and friends. Listen to them as they share their insights and feelings, and be prepared to share yours. According to Erwin Tan, M.D., AARP, “Family and friends will need to work together to make sure they can remain connected without exposing each other to COVID-19.”
Find Ways To Help
Empowerment is a potent tool against anxiety. There are many ways to help, including donating money or resources to frontliners keeping critical services running. You can start information drives to inform others about what’s happening and how they should help. You can even try more unique methods, such as using your computer’s resources to help scientists study the novel coronavirus.
Every little action counts towards a healthier society, and altruism can also help you feel good.
Seek Professional Services
Finally, if you have anxiety disorders or other mental health conditions, make sure that you have the tools you need to manage. Check if you have a sufficient supply of any medications. Reach out to your therapist and ask about ways to stay in contact. For example, a telemedicine setup can help you access consulting services whenever you need them.
Women’s mental health can suffer as the global pandemic continues to spread. However, you have the power to protect yourself from anxiety. Whatever happens, remember to take care of yourself.
Aside from physical wellbeing, mental health also becomes an issue during pandemics and other crises. The overall pessimism and uncertainty can stress many people, adding to the fear of eventually catching the disease. Children are also prone to mental stress, especially if they don’t have adequate knowledge about the current situation.