In October 2020 Professors Ana Nikčević from Kingston University of London, U.K and Marcantonio Spada from London South Bank University, UK developed the concept of COVID-19 anxiety syndrome.
In their paper, Professors Nikčević and Spada outline the characteristics of COVID-19 anxiety syndrome, which manifests as the inability to leave the house because of COVID-19 fears, frequent checking for symptoms despite not being in a high-risk area and avoiding social situations.
If you find yourself in this position, talk to your doctor in the first instance and consider the following tips as recommended by Medical News Today:
• Consider actively seeking out positive messages about vaccine uptake, adherence to social distancing recommendations, and stay at home orders.
• Once a COVID crisis is over, or lock down is eased, take things slowly de-spite the expectation for a rapid return to normalcy.
• Continue your use of hand sanitizer and wearing masks or gloves to help ease anxiety.
• Explain feelings of anxiety to a trusted person to build mutual understanding. This increases confidence and allows others to provide the support needed when venturing outside the home.
• Be mindful of social media and news reports that may trigger anxiety and focus attention on positive, trusted sources of information. Consider limiting exposure to media to perhaps, once a day.
Being kind to ourselves and others is so important during this time. Patience with ourselves and others and understanding that we are all in a different place provides respect and appreciation that we all have a shared human experience we are traveling through.