The fear of contagions, pollutants, and bacteria can drive anyone crazy. The anxiety of what can happen makes people skittish and nervous when touching anything in public. It might reach severe heights of being scared of the surfaces in your own home.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t made things easier for people who have severe anxiety and fear of infection. However, some methods can calm people and soothe their minds to cope with a reality filled with fear. Read on to learn about four useful and practical steps that you can follow to face your fears of infection and overcome them.
Accept the uncertainty
It will be easier said than done, but you need to train yourself to accept uncertainty in life. People that have severe anxiety issues always want to know the outcome of every step they take. The behavioural tendencies that you used to have should gradually change once you practice this step. Don’t look up the weather forecast before leaving your home, don’t call your friends multiple times to confirm your meeting, and don’t check the hood of your car every day before going to work.
The key is to minimise certainty-seeking behaviours to calm your mind from the uncertainty of infections or the current coronavirus pandemic in the world. Taking small steps every day will help you relax more and not check the news every ten minutes about the status of the COVID-19 outbreak in the world. This will help you learn to be in the moment and not obsess over things beyond your control.
Get proper training
In times of uncertainty, good training programmes can help prepare you for the unknown outcomes that may happen. You can learn more about infections and viruses by learning how to prevent it from spreading. Also, some programmes can teach you how to protect yourself and others at the same time.
Depending on what your profession is, you might need a few HIPAA courses to learn about the security policies and procedures in the workplace. Advice from the instructors at HIPAA Exams suggests that online access at any time can minimise close contact with others while learning valuable information. This will be highly convenient because you won’t be discouraged from learning new things about your concerns if you’re afraid of being in a closed area with other people. If you’re a business associate, you can learn several safety techniques that can help you face your fears and prevent the spreading of infections.
Focus on self-care
High levels of fear and stress over possible infections or the coronavirus will make you forget about taking care of yourself. This is why you need to focus on self-care to ensure that your health doesn’t deteriorate, making you even more anxious over time. You must get enough sleep and rest every day because your body and mind cannot function without a proper sleeping pattern. Think about relaxing by the window or balcony while having your morning coffee.
The fresh air and sunlight can boost your vitamin D and mood levels, motivating you to do your daily routine productively. Try to exercise regularly to feel healthier, making you more likely to have deep and relaxing sleep at night. Remember your daily meals, don’t skip breakfast or dinner because you are too caught up with your thoughts. Bolstering your immune system and improving your mental health through self-care can help you cope with your fears.
Stay close to your loved ones
Anxiety and stress can make you distant and alone, but you should always try to stay close to your loved ones for extra support. When you lean on your friends and family members, you will get the assurance you need that everything will be okay. You will hear from them and learn that you are all in this together, convincing you that you shouldn’t carry this burden alone. You must find a calming and supportive presence in your life. For the sake of your sanity and health, open up and talk about your fears with other people.
The fear of the unknown can make you lose sleep at night, but knowing that there is a possibility of getting infected from anything is even worse. You need to understand that being always afraid is no way to live. The anxiety can fester inside you and eat you alive, making you prefer to stay locked up in your room and avoid contact with anyone at all.
You must learn how to calm your mind and practice how to tolerate uncertainty. Being too afraid of something will make your life miserable. Following these important steps will help you cope and deal with infection anxiety.
Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.