You really don’t need to check the CDC’s website again. You probably do need a break, though.
Take a breath and give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve successfully managed to look away from breaking news long enough to find some resources that might actually help with your stress.
That’s no easy thing right now.
Experts are recommending social distancing and self-quarantine to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), sending most of us into isolation.
It makes sense if you haven’t been doing much at all except ruminating on updatesabout the virus and the availability of toilet paper.
So what can you do about your coronavirus anxiety?
I’m glad you asked, because I’ve collected a whole list of tools to help your mental health during the COVID-19 scare.
This list could also apply to any moment when breaking news headlines are all-consuming and hard to look away from.
Think of it this way: Reducing your stress is actually one of the best ways you can deal with this crisis. Too much stress can hurt your immunity and your mental health.
Plus, you just plain deserve to finally feel some relief after spiraling through your anxieties for this long.
First things first: There’s nothing wrong with you for feeling anxious right now.
Ignoring the stress or judging yourself for feeling it is tempting, but it probably won’t help in the end.
Acknowledging your feelings — even if they’re scary — can help you cope in a healthy way.
And I’ve got news for you: You’re not the only one who’s freaking out. The news is legitimately frightening, and fear is a normal, natural response.
You’re not alone.
If you’re already living with a chronic illness, then COVID-19 might be especially frightening. And if you’re living with a mental illness such as an anxiety disorder, then the constant barrage of headlines might have you on the edge of feeling like you’re losing control.
There are plenty of resourcesTrusted Source out there about how to directly deal with coronavirus anxiety, and it’s important to have those strategies in your toolbox when you need them.
But for this list, we’re going to take a break from all of that.
Because science shows that taking a breather can help interrupt your anxiety, reduce your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and even retrain your brain to change unhelpful thinking patterns.
Which is all the more reason to be proud of yourself for ending up here, where all you have to do is sit back, click through some helpful tools, and finally take a break from that haunting sense of impending doom.
These tools alone aren’t going to fix everything, and it’s a good idea to reach out for professional help if you’re really struggling to keep your anxiety under control.
But I hope these apps and websites can give you a moment to break the cycle of headline stress, if even for a moment.
Visiting a public space like a museum probably isn’t very high on your list of priorities right now.
But you can experience some fascinating museum tours right from the comfort and safety of your own home.
More than 500 museums and galleries around the world have partnered with Google Arts & Culture to display their collections online as virtual tours.
“A journey to places most people never go.”
Doesn’t that sound perfect at a time like this? It’s from the tagline for The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks, an interactive documentary and exhibit from Google Arts & Culture.
The exhibit lets you take 360-degree tours of U.S. National Parks, including secluded areas that most people will never see in their lifetime.
You can learn fun facts from park ranger tour guides, fly over an active volcano in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, dive through a shipwreck at Dry Tortugas National Park, and more.