Seven Ways to Cope With Anxiety During the Coronavirus Outbreak

by Christina Ianzito, AARP,

Limit news consumption
It’s important to know the facts and what you can do to protect yourself and to take all precautions — but it’s not going to help stress levels to obsessively watch the news, says Shankman.

Practice calming techniques
Different people relax in different ways, but if you feel particularly anxious you might try deep breathing, taking a warm bath, or sitting with your pet, says Neda Gould, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins Medical School.

Move your body
“If people are able to just do a little bit of exercise, just walk around or stretch — just to sort of calm the tension in your body,” it will help, says Shankman. “If you calm the tension in your body, you calm the tension in your
mind.”

Connect with loved ones
Call, email or videochat with family members, especially if you are feeling isolated or you know that they are.
Listen to music, find activities that bring joy. With symphonies, opera houses, ballets and theaters shutting down or losing their audiences to quarantine measures, many are bringing their offerings online.

Get stuff done
Tackle a hobby you’ve wanted to explore, or a project you never seem to have time for.

Find ways to laugh
Humor is a wonderful coping mechanism in times of crisis. Turn to sources you find funny, whether they’re movies or TV shows, or certain friends whom you know will brighten your mood.