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Things You Can Do To Manage Your Coronavirus Anxiety

Here are some tips for managing your coronavirus anxiety. They won’t make the problem go away, but they may help you feel more grounded and, yes, in control:

• Tune out. You can stay abreast of the news but you really, really don’t have to monitor every single development.

• Stop what you’re doing and take three (or more) conscious breaths. Feel the air going in through your nose. Inhale deeply, filling your lungs. Exhale slowly through pursed lips. Repeat as needed throughout the day (and night).

• Put your hand on your heart, or both hands crisscrossed on your chest, press gently and feel the warm sensation. Close your eyes and tell yourself, “This is hard, but I’m doing the best I can.”

• Go for a walk. Notice the buds on the trees, the sprouting flowers, the passing clouds. If you want to focus on something, isolate, say, a certain color in the environment. Or simply notice all the sounds you can discern. Giving the mind something to do relaxes the activity in the fight-or-flight part of the brain, and it calms the nervous system.

•  Laugh. For no reason. There’s actually a name for it: Laughter Yoga, a stress-reducing, immune-boosting practice. You don’t need a humorous stimulus to generate laughter. It’s contagious. (The good kind.)

• Give yourself permission to change the subject. Call a friend. Talk about anything besides anxiety, illness, politics. Be silly. Be superficial. Share memories of past fun times.

• Download a meditation app such as Headspace, Insight Timer, Calm, or dozens of other resources online.

• Do a project. It could be cleaning, organizing, cooking, writing, artwork, building something or doing a craft, a crossword or jigsaw puzzle. The mind wants to focus, relax.

• Listen to calming music. Or, if you prefer, listen to rousing music and get up and dance — moving is vital to managing stress and anxiety.

• Volunteer to help others in need — deliver food, drop off supplies, check in with elders by phone. Being altruistic can improve your mood and benefit others at the same time.

• Remind yourself that life will go on. Whatever the “new normal” is, we will adjust, somehow.


By Chuck Sheppard

Bright Idea: Ryan Sentelle State, 37, has been arrested in Salt Lake City after police said he admitted using mice and hamsters to get free hotel rooms. KUTV reported on Jan. 30 that authorities allege State would release the rodents in a hotel room, then complain about them, prompting hotel workers to offer the room for free. State faces charges of theft by deception and criminal mischief.

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