Take a Break from Coronavirus News

These are no doubt, uncertain times.

Numerous countries around the globe have placed their citizens under quarantine orders of some kind. The global economy has largely slowed to a standstill as millions worldwide stay home.

Cooped up indoors, bombarded with a seemingly endless stream of news reports, it is all too easy to get caught up in the updates. Personally, I’ve had days spent just surfing the web for updates after updates, articles after articles – and before I knew it, the sun has set.

While staying up to date with the latest news is certainly commendable, overdoing it might be bad for your mental health.

Reading what appears to be a never-ending onslaught of news adds on to a general climate of uncertainty and anxiety. For people with existing anxiety disorders, this might further perpetuate one’s anxiety. True to this, there have been several reports attesting to how continuous, incessant discussion about the situation has triggered panic attacks in some people.

The impact of 24/7 close monitoring of coronavirus related news/information on anxiety and general mental wellbeing has not gone unnoticed by larger health organisations. Notably, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has also shared advice on dealing with stress stemming from the outbreak. Particularly, WHO has put forth advice to limit watching, reading or listening to news that could cause one to feel anxious or distressed.

While this is no simple task, given that we live in a world inundated with information – what more information about a global pandemic – there are a few ways to limit your exposure. For one, set a daily routine for yourself. Clearly delineate your “online” time, be it Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. While these are not traditional news sites, news about the coronavirus will undoubtedly feature heavily on social media sites and it would be in your best interest to limit such exposure. In addition, try to get some physical activity every day. Exercising is well-known to release endorphins – chemicals that make your brain “feel good”.  Lastly, keep in contact with family and friends. Quarantine may keep you physically apart, but you can still keep emotionally connected.

Image from https://jessicamariek.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/clean-room-clear-mind/

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