Tips for Coping with Anxiety about COVID-19

Feelings of anxiety during a time of crisis are normal but there are things you can do to help.

Talk about it.

Don’t keep your feelings to yourself.  Find a therapist who can help you manage the crisis in a healthy way, or talk with someone like a religious counselor or close family friend who will listen to your concerns without judging you.

Learn about it.

Get the facts. Watch the video: Coronavirus: What Transplant Recipients Need to Know  or read the transcript. Visit the Centers for Disease Control website for current information about the disease.

Read about transplant survivor, Peter Gordon, who battled COVID-19 and won.  

Write about it.

Studies have shown that writing about our fears and feelings can actually reduce stress.  You don’t have to be a skilled writer and you don’t have to share what you write with others. Write for yourself. Be honest and don’t judge yourself.

Try relaxation, mental imagery and other coping strategies.

COVID Cancer Care is an online program that lets you:

  • identify COVID-19-related stressors
  • try relaxation exercises 
  • learn other successful coping strategies

Click on the image below to start the program.

Try mindfulness, meditation or yoga to calm you.

If you’ve never tried these stress-busting techniques, there are plenty of ways to get started. 

Keep moving.

Take a walk outside, keeping your distance from others. Ride a bike outside.  Do that yard work or house work you have been putting off.

Check out free online classes offered by the YMCA to help you keep fit and take your mind off the coronavirus while at home at https://ymca360.org

Stay connected with others.

Set up a zoom session and invite people to read a book, have a happy hour, process their worries, tell jokes, etc. Use Skype or Facetime to talk with those who can’t visit you.

Check in with others who may be home alone and need some virtual companionship.

Take a break from the bad news.

Avoid focusing on the coronavirus all the time. Instead of listening to each lengthy news conference about the virus, listen to a brief daily summary and spend the rest of your time focusing on things you enjoy.

In short, think of something you can enjoy doing to distract you from disturbing news.

Be gentle on yourself.

Feeling anxious is a normal reaction to a stressful situation, particularly one such as the coronavirus that is unpredictable. Acknowledge that you are feeling stressed, that it is ok, and then think about ways to manage that stress. Find what calms and soothes you and do it.

Do you have other suggestions?

If you have other suggestions on how to manage stress in difficult times, feel free to email them to BMT InfoNet at help@bmtinfonet.org