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9 Best Ways to Ease Your Covid-19 Anxiety

Covering ways to relax and manage stress during pandemic and quarantine

Indefinite isolation from loved ones to prevent the spread of the coronavirus along with the cluelessness about what’s going to happen next have caused mental health crises for many people. As cases of COVID-19 continue to surge, Americans have experienced or are going through cases of anxiety or depression.

The global pandemic has made people deal with: 

  • Worry that comes with loss of income
  • Separation anxiety with loved ones
  • Fear falling ill
  • Fear being labeled from becoming sick
  • Suffering through boredom and isolation
  • Fear about not having food and other essentials

While it is entirely natural to experience anxiety during general uncertainty, it is essential to deal with it day by day to maintain your mental health. Here are 9 of the most effective methods to help you relax. 

Identify what triggers your anxiety

Anxiety can cause feelings of worry or fear which may result in panic attacks; thus, it is important to determine the source of your anxiety as it is the best way to deal with it. Do you experience anxiety because of health issues, skipping meals, negative thinking, conflict, or stress? 

To identify triggers, start journaling and write what causes your anxiety. If journaling doesn’t seem to work for you, consult with a therapist as they have other methods to identify the root cause of your anxiety. Further, relax and explore the different patterns in your past that are similar to what’s happening now. Analyze how these patterns affected you and how you overcame them. Through this method, you’ll have a better idea how to deal with the situation at hand.

Ask for help

Some people are too independent, and this makes them believe that they can do everything by themselves while others are afraid to ask for help because of fear of social stigma. They assume right away that others aren’t willing to help or are busy with their own lives, but as Dr. Wayne Baker said, “You never know what people know or who they know until you ask. Don’t prejudge the capabilities of the group. Just ask for what you really need.”

As such, don’t be the “do-it-yourselfer”. Ask another person about stockpiling food, converting your garage to an office, a trip you’ve been planning, or an influential person they know who can help with your business or work. When you’re afraid or have second thoughts, just remember what Dr. Baker said.

Communicate with your loved ones

Social distancing requires citizens to stay at home, but that doesn’t mean that you have to cut connections with your loved ones. Find ways to have a good chat with your neighbors, co-workers, colleagues, as well as with your loved ones whenever you have time. The most important thing is to reach out.

With the digital evolution, almost everything is possible. Use social media, text, phone calls, video calls or email to stay connected with your friends and family. Research has shown that positive social support offers you the power of resilience to stress.

Don’t deprive yourself of sleep

Ample sleep boosts your immune system, brain function, mood, and mental health. Following the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep as well as 10 to 20-minute naps reduce the risk of infection, promote complex thinking and decision-making, and increase your energy level which helps with overcoming depression.

To have a good night sleep, set your schedule which means setting your wake-up time, wind-down time, and bedtime. It is also essential to eat a healthy diet, avoid too much intake of alcohol and caffeine, get some sunlight, and meditate. And even if you can’t find a way to fall asleep, some good quiet time with no distractions, noises or bright lights will do.

Practice self management

Skipping self-care during this pandemic can have some unwanted effects that may interfere with your daily tasks such as emotions that are difficult to manage, feeling of hopelessness, and the inability to focus on daily activities. 

To avoid such from happening, engage in healthy practices including yoga, exercise, therapy, and meditation. These activities will help remove what’s blocking your mind and body, activating your free-flowing energy, which aids in concentration.

Listen to music

Music has been proven to relieve anxiety, ease depression, restore lost speech, lower blood pressure, and enhance concentration. It has a powerful soothing effect on your mind that helps you win over the invisible yet powerful novel coronavirus.

Different music has a purpose. If you’re in a blue mood, listen to upbeat music while performing exercises. If you’re trying to get some sleep, opt for quiet, melodic pieces with a slow beat. To reduce stress, look for slow music, but if you want to break the pain cycle, listen to lullaby-like selections. 

Stay up-to-date

News coverage related to Covid-19 is overwhelming; thus, some avoid keeping up to date with current events, but doing so means feeding your brain with fantasies that can, later on, escalate your anxiety. 

It is important then to find the few most valued sources of information that don’t increase your stress levels. You may try listening to podcasts and reading newsletters from reputable sources with solid reporting and nice storytelling without inflicting fear. The NPR One app, The Daily, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and USA Today are some reputable sources for your daily news.

Stop the shaming and blaming game

Toxic tongues can only worsen the situation during this pandemic. With the increase of survival anxiety in people, it has been a common thing for others to blame a particular group like the current administration or an old lady who uncontrollably coughs in front of others, or young people who stay out late. 

The heightening situation has compelled people to gather for protests, but doing so will only make the situation worse instead of solving it. Instead of putting the shame or blame on anyone, it would be best to stay positive and to unite with others to help those who are in need. This step, if done correctly, can end the global pandemic.

Adopt a pet

Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) mentioned that having a pet has many benefits including decreased blood pressure, decreased feelings of loneliness, increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities, and increased opportunities for socialization. Pets are great listeners and innately sweet; they provide comedy relief and warm hugs.

For Seniors (Ages 60+): Pets can fulfill the lives of many senior citizens, long after the nest has become “empty”. Here an article from Sixty+Me that highlights the benefits pets bring to our elders. LINK: How Pets Can Benefit Older People

As such, people are adopting pets to deal with the loneliness of quarantine. In fact, pet adoptions in the United States are increasing and that shelters are running out of pets. If you’re looking for a companion who can make your day better, now is the best time to adopt a furry, warm non-human companion. After pet adoption, you might consider enrolling him in an affordable pet health plan that offers full coverage. This is to both keep you happy, not worrying about routine care or emergency veterinary treatment while enjoying each other’s company.

Photo by Vince Veras on Unsplash

Infographic – Coronavirus and Pets

The outbreak of COVID-19 has made national and international headlines. Thousands of cases of the virus, which causes flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough and shortness of breath, have been confirmed since the disease was first diagnosed in Wuhan, China, on December 30, with numbers and death tolls continuing to escalate. 

From: Great Pet Care

LINK: https://www.greatpetcare.com/wellness/covid-19-is-your-pet-at-risk-from-coronavirus/

Can Pets Contract COVID-19?

As organizations like the WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) work to understand the virus and control the spread, questions are popping up about whether we should also be concerned about COVID-19 and our pets.

“There is no evidence that transmission [from pets to people] or from pet-to-pet is part of the current outbreak,” says Dr. Kate E Creevy, veterinarian and Mark Chapman Chair in Shelter Medicine and Companion Animal Health at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine.

IDEXX Laboratories, a global veterinary diagnostics firm, tested thousands of canine and feline specimens for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and found no cases in pets. The test results align with the current beliefs that the virus is primarily transmitted from person-to-person and supports the recommendation against testing pets at this time.

There have been only three reports of pets testing positive for the coronavirus worldwide—two dogs and one cat. 

Pomeranian in Hong Kong tested “weak positive” for the virus. The owner was diagnosed with COVID-19 and is believed to have passed it along to the dog. The dog exhibited no signs of illness. The Pomeranian died shortly after being released from quarantine, but experts do not believe the coronavirus had any impact on the death of the 17-year-old dog, who had underlying health conditions and outlived the average life expectancy of a Pomeranian.

The South China Post also confirmed that a second dog, a 2-year-old German Shepherd, tested positive for the virus in Hong Kong. The dog belongs to a 30-year-old COVID-19 patient living in the Pok Fu Lam area. The German Shepherd has since been quarantined. Another mixed breed dog from the same household tested negative for the virus, and is also being monitored in quarantine. Neither dog showed signs of illness.

cat in Belgium also tested positive for COVID-19, about a week after its owner started showing symptoms of the virus. The cat did display symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, and shortness of breath, but it is unconfirmed whether the virus caused these symptoms.

These are isolated cases of human to animal transmission, which does not appear to be common. Health authorities still say there is no evidence that pets can transmit the virus to humans.

Learn More at https://www.greatpetcare.com/wellness/covid-19-is-your-pet-at-risk-from-coronavirus/

Coronavirus COVID-19 and Pets. Important Facts, Resources, and Links

Here are some important facts, resources, and links regarding pets and the Coronavirus pandemic. Can our pets become infected? Can it be spread from humans to our pets?

From the American Veterinary Medical Association LINK

PDF – “COVID-19 FAQ for Pet Owners” (Download)

  • The betacoronavirus that causes COVID-19 is SARS-CoV-2 (formerly 2019-nCoV).
    Person-to-person spread has been reported in numerous countries, including the United States. Some popular international destinations, including the United States, also appear to have community spread.
  • Transmission seems to occur when there is contact with an infected person’s bodily secretions, such as saliva or mucus droplets in a cough or sneeze.
    There are currently no antiviral drugs recommended or licensed by FDA to treat COVID-19, and there is no immunization available.
  • For most people in the United States, the immediate risk of being exposed to SARS-CoV-2 is believed to be low, but the CDC considers the virus a very serious public health threat.
  • The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.
  • Infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets become ill with COVID-19 or that they spread it to other animals, including people.
  • Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a facemask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with them.
  • As always, careful handwashing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease. The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians’ (NASPHV) compendium of standard precautions is a good reference for appropriate infection control in veterinary practices.

Additional resource: Traveling with pets with Covid-19

Quarantine the cat? Disinfect the dog? The latest advice about the coronavirus and your pets – From Science Mag – LINK

From their Q & A

Q: Can we pass the new coronavirus to our pets?

A: The SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads from humans to humans. There is no research to support human to animal spread at this time. Samples from the Hong Kong dog had a small number of virus particles present. In an animal with no clinical signs of disease, it’s hard to say what this means. It was a single case, and we learned that we need to do a lot more research into the potential of the human SARS-CoV-19 virus to infect animals.

That said, cats and dogs are mammals too. They have many of the same types of receptors on their cells that we do. So the virus could theoretically attach to these receptors. But will it enter their cells and replicate? Probably not.

Still, people infected with SARS-CoV-19 should limit contact with their pets. Wash your hands, and don’t let them lick you on the face. If the virus is in your secretions, and there’s any potential of transmission, these are ways it could be transmitted.

Coronavirus and Pets: FAQ for Owners from University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign – LINK

From their Q&A

Can dogs get the new coronavirus (COVID-19)?

At this time, experts believe it is very unlikely. The World Health Organization currently advises that there is no evidence to suggest that dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. The OIE states there is no evidence that dogs play a role in the spread of this disease or that they become sick. The CDC also seconds that opinion, stating that, “At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19.”

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters – LINK – from the World Health Organization

From their Q&A

The new coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites.

To date there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.

Coronavirus Global Tracking – LINK

Photo credit: Photo by Marina Hanna on Unsplash

Topics: coronaviruscovid19