At times like these it can be impossible to escape from constant discussion of the crisis going on around us. All news, social media and conversations are about the current situation. Many of the activities which people use to relax or distract themselves are being cancelled, and an increasing number of people are in isolation.
In a pandemic situation, there is inevitably lots of discussion of death and dying, and this can bring up difficult feelings for those with anxiety and mental health issues. It can also bring up difficult feelings and memories of past bereavements. It may also bring up feelings of fear about dying yourself.
How to help yourself
It can help to take regular breaks from the news and social media. You may want to limit yourself to a few trusted news sources and check only at certain times of the day. You may also like to take regular breaks from social media. It is helpful to keep to a regular daily routine which also includes some time to relax. Think about what activities are the best distraction for you – this could be watching old films or tv series, reading, arts and crafts, or getting on with some jobs around the house.
If friends or relatives are talking constantly about the situation, try asking them if you can talk about other things for a while. They might appreciate it too.
There is some good advice for those dealing with anxiety or mental health issues on the Mind website
If reading or hearing things is making it difficult for you to cope with a bereavement, you can call our National Freephone Helpline on 0808 808 1677.
How you can help other people
If you know a friend is feeling anxious, you could suggest talking about something else for a while. Even if you cannot meet in person try to keep in contact as isolation can make it difficult for some people to cope.