”4 Tips To Deal With Health Anxiety” is a collaborative post and includes affiliate links. Please see the disclosure page for more information. Disclaimer – always verify medical information with your doctor or a professional and follow all laws for your location.
When was the last time that you felt anxious about your health? Let me guess… ALL OF 2020!
Whether you normally feel a little concerned with what’s going on with your body, or you are usually quite relaxed, the outbreak of the global Covid-19 pandemic has everyone feeling more concerned than usual about how to keep themselves and their families safe and well. The cycle of twenty four hour news just feeds our stress about the situation, keeping us in a constant state of high alert as we struggle to process all the information. Of course it’s natural and ok to be cautious, but if you find yourself constantly searching symptoms and worrying all the time, it’s time to find ways to calm your heart and mind.
So what are some tips to deal with health anxiety especially during a global pandemic?
Taking sensible precautions is one way to ease what you’re feeling about the complex situation. Of course there are many things about a global pandemic that you can’t control, but your own preparations are an area you can use to feel a little more assured. Take your time before you go out to make sure you’re stocked up on antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer and a face mask. There are lots of different styles now available, so sometimes it’s about seeing what will work best for you. If the idea of wearing a mask is intimidating, make it less so by finding one with a nice pattern, in a material that you find comfortable to wear. Suppliers like Comfy Clothiers now stock masks in materials like silk.
Limit News Consumption
This is really key to managing health anxiety during a pandemic. Although being able to access information and news constantly can be great, sometimes we use it in the wrong way. Watching the news 24/7 can (and most likely will) add fuel our fears. Avoid any sensationalized outlets that you know feed into your fear, to limit how often you expose yourself to rolling news reports. If you do need information, only seek it from reputable sources such as a healthcare provider. Be selective and manage your news alerts so you don’t have constant notifications pulling your focus. You have to be in control of when and how you receive information about the pandemic to avoid spiraling into panic and to deal with health anxiety.
Limit Social Media Consumption
News outlets are not the only source spreading unnecessary panic, but social media can be even worse. To mitigate this, set a timer for each app that you are using. Also, be sure to mute or unfollow people that might add to your anxiety with their barrage of things that can set off your anxiety alarms. Your sanity is much more important than trying to please someone by keeping them on your social media feed.
Practice Hand Hygiene
Health experts have told us again and again how important washing your hands properly is in managing the spread of the disease. So ensure that you are washing your hands for long enough, every time you come back into the house from outside, or that you handle packages and other items coming in. Also clean them before you handle food. Washing is more effective than just using hand sanitizer, but that can be a great quick fix if you don’t have access to a sink and soap while out and about. If you don’t already, take your shoes off before coming inside the house as well. By knowing that you are being smart and taking the steps that you can, you can try to put your mind more at ease.
Another thing I do to deal with health anxiety is that I believe that God is real and is in control. Whether I’ve been through terrible times or good times and whether I have had bad health or good health, ultimately I don’t not have final control of when I die. This doesn’t mean I don’t do my best to take care of my body and try to make good choices. It also means I can release the idea that I can control everything including every germ in the world. It is much less stressful to have the attitude of Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be Will Be). Reducing stress through mindfulness is much better than amping up anxiety by continually feeding your mind with negativity.
If you are feeling down or depressed for more days than not, please seek medical attention. If you are feeling like you cannot go on, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat here>>> https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ Or visit the suicide prevention lifeline at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/