We Asked A Psychologist For Anxiety Tips During The Coronavirus Outbreak, And Here's What She Said

The recent coronavirus news has been incredibly difficult for everyone — but especially for people who have anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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So what are some things you can do to manage your anxiety during this super stressful time?

For answers, I spoke to Marina Gershkovich, a clinical psychologist in New York, who reported that the majority of her patients with anxiety disorders and contamination-related OCD had noticed a significant increase in their overall anxiety. “Patients with generalized anxiety disorder report feeling very on edge and difficulty controlling their worries, spending a significant amount of time thinking about the uncertainty of the future,” she told BuzzFeed. Gershkovich shared these six tips to help people manage their anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic.


First, know that it’s okay to feel anxious.

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“It is important to note that some anxiety during this time is expected and normal.”


However, don’t be afraid to speak to a mental health professional — especially if you’re struggling to get through the day.


“If you are noticing that you are not able to control your worry and/or having difficulty sleeping, it may be helpful to consult a mental health professional. You do not have to wait until the pandemic is over — many providers are now providing options to meet remotely via video conferencing.”


Limit your news consumption.


“For those individuals struggling with anxiety or OCD, the tendency is often to stay as informed as possible. This may lead to an overconsumption of news related to COVID-19, which may fuel the anxiety more. Instead, it is recommended that you limit the news to once a day so you can get updated guidelines if needed.”


And only trust verified sources.


Check verified sources for updated prevention guidelines such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.


But don’t exceed the recommended behavior, as it can actually increase anxiety.

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“Follow the guidelines, but do not exceed them. By exceeding these precautionary behaviors, you may actually do more harm and make yourself more anxious. For example, washing your hands excessively (beyond the recommended amount) may lead to cracking, which could increase vulnerability to infection.”


And finally, make time to do things that you enjoy.


“Unless you are symptomatic and/or quarantined, try to continue to do your day-to-day activities within the CDC/WHO guidelines. It is important to continue to incorporate pleasurable activities (modified if needed), especially during this stressful time.”

If some of the things in this list were familiar, you might want to look into ways to take care of yourself. So here are some quick resources:

Maybe you want to learn more about starting therapy, since pretty much everyone can benefit from talking to a professional.

You can learn more about anxiety disorders here.

Here are little ways to be less anxious in general and here are some self-care tips.

And if you need to talk to someone immediately, the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. A list of international suicide hotlines can be found here.

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Written by Angle News

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