Dealing with COVID-19 Anxiety

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, getting anxious is an adaptive and healthy response to the perceived threat. The problem is when this anxiety gets out of control and this is what is currently happening in our country.
To you, our students, this is to share with you a few tips on how to deal with the anxiety and fear that comes due to such a pandemic.
1. Follow news from trusted sources;
Avoid social media channels that fuel your fears and get updates from reliable sources. Since anxiety and fear can build from too much media exposure, you have to try and limit it since some of this information may not be accurate and only triggers more worries. Since anxiety is contagious, break this by skipping some updates about the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Focus on what is within your control
Anxiety overwhelms us when we try to focus on things that are beyond or out of our control.
We don't have control over when the partial lockdown will end or on market prices for basic commodities, but we have control over our ability to follow precautions and advice from the Ministry of Health. And now that you are home, you can keep away from crowded places to control the spread of the virus. Remember to always wash your hands with soap or use sanitizers.
3. Get enough rest or sleep.
By the time the University closed, most, or all of you were in a very busy period of the semester with lectures, assignments, and tests.
This is the time to rest. Research has shown that enough (good) sleep helps boost your immunity and thus preventing you from getting sickly. It also boosts your mood and thus preventing anxiety.
4. Exercise
Much as we are encouraged to self or social distance, you can still do exercise in your compound or house. You can also do a solo run around your neighborhood. This helps to relax your mind and improves your cognitive abilities such as decision making and problem-solving among others. This also helps put the COVID-19 worries at bay for a while. The objective is to minimize the amount of time you spend preoccupied with the negative thoughts around the pandemic.
 
Try following the above 4 tips to calm your worries about this pandemic and continue practicing the WHO and Ministry of Health guidelines.
 
Remember to keep safe.
 
Maurice Osire Tukei
UNIVERSITY COUNSELOR & LECTURER

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