Four Simple Ways to Reduce Coronavirus Anxiety [+ Shareable Infographic]

If the coronavirus has you on edge, you're not alone. In the span of days, life was upended around the world. In addition to processing your own health concerns, you may be facing financial difficulties and career challenges. Sorting through coronavirus news and guidelines can be overwhelming.

There's a fine line, however, between being diligent and living in fear. If you're dealing with coronavirus anxiety, continue reading for some tips on how to minimize your uneasiness.

1. Exercise

If you feel down or worried, going for a run or brisk walk may be the last thing on your mind. But once you get moving, it can help you feel better. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can:

  • Release natural endorphins that improve your mood
  • Take your mind off your anxiety
  • Improve your confidence
  • Help you cope in a positive way

For the best benefit, aim for 30 minutes of exercise for three to five days a week. If you can't fit in that much physical activity right now, even smaller bursts of physical activity can boost your mood.

2. Help Others

To combat feelings of isolation and helplessness, consider how you can help others during the pandemic. You could call a lonely relative, donate money to a nonprofit, or pick up groceries for someone who can’t shop for themselves right now.

Daryl Van Tongeren and his colleagues published an article in The Journal of Positive Psychology that outlined their studies on altruistic behaviors (like volunteering). They asked 400 participants how often they helped others. The people who performed more giving acts reported a higher sense of meaning and purpose in their lives.

3. Eat Well

It's tempting to stifle your worries with a tub of ice cream or a family-size bag of Doritos. But experts and experience tell us that overeating will only make matters worse.

The Mayo Clinic suggests the following dietary principles to follow for less anxiety:

  • Include protein with your breakfast
  • Eat complex carbohydrates, such as oatmeal, quinoa, and whole-grain bread
  • Avoid simple carbohydrates, such as sugary foods and drinks
  • Limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables

4. Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough rest can be challenging during times of stress. It's vital, however, that you give your body the sleep it needs. Inadequate sleep can raise levels of the stress hormone cortisol and lower your immune system.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one-third of adults in the U.S. don't get enough rest each night. A lack of sleep is linked to Type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and depression. Try the following tips for better sleep:

  • Get up and go to bed at the same time every day
  • Exercise during the day, so your body can relax at night
  • Remove the TV from your bedroom
  • Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and at a comfortable temperature
  • Avoid big meals and caffeine before bed
  • Try listening to sleep sounds

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