While feeling anxiety in response to a threat is a perfectly normal human reaction, a high and constant level of anxiety can compromise our psychological resources in times of crisis. And people who already suffer from anxiety and related disorders are particularly likely to experience more psychological difficulties during this on-going coronavirus crisis.

The following suggestions can help you manage anxiety about the crisis.

1. Learn to accept uncertainty:
Not coping with uncertainty makes you more vulnerable to anxiety. A study carried out during the A (H1N1) influenza pandemic of 2009 showed that people who had a harder time accepting the uncertainty of the situation were more likely to experience high anxiety.
It is therefore necessary to learn to gradually cope with uncertainty in daily life by relaxing control behaviors.
Start small: For example, refrain from texting a friend immediately the next time you are looking for the answer to a question. Go hiking without checking the weather first. By increasing your tolerance to uncertainty, you can reduce your propensity to use the Internet to stay on top of developments.

2. Fight the anxiety paradox:
Anxiety increases in proportion to the amount of things you try to get rid of. Or as Carl Jung said, “Anything you resist persists.”
The fight against anxiety can take many forms: drink more than you need to, eat a little too much or abuse Netflix series … You can also constantly seek comfort from friends, family or health specialists. . It can also mean obsessively browsing online news feeds, in the hope of allaying fears. While these behaviors can help momentarily, they can make anxiety worse in the long run. Their avoidance strategies almost always backfired.
Instead, let the thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations of anxiety overwhelm you temporarily, accepting that anxiety is an integral part of the human experience. When waves of anxiety related to the epidemic roll in, take notes or describe this experience to others, without any judgment. Resist the urge to run away from these thoughts or feelings, or allay your fears by compulsively educating yourself. Paradoxically, dealing with anxiety in the moment helps tame it in the medium term.

3. Get past your existential anxiety
What threatens our health triggers the fear that underlies all other fears: the fear of death. In the face of these reminders of their own mortality, people can find themselves consumed with anxiety about preserving their health, and focusing disproportionately on any sign of illness.
Try to connect with what is meaningful to you, what matters in your life, whether it is spirituality, relationships with loved ones, or commitment to a cause you care about. Start an important project that you put off until later, and fully embrace your life choices. Focusing on or trying to find out the “why” of life can help you overcome inevitable anxiety during this time of crisis.

4. Don’t underestimate your resilience
The human mind is good at predicting the worst.
Many people fear the virus or worry about how they will cope with a quarantine, the closing of a daycare or a loss of pay.
But research shows that people tend to overestimate the severity of the consequences of difficult events and, at the same time, underestimate their ability to cope and adapt to difficult situations.
Remember, you are stronger than you think. It can help you ease your anxiety.

5. Don’t overestimate the threat
Admittedly everyone should take all necessary precautions to fight against the spread of the virus. 
But keep in mind that humans tend to overstate the danger associated with unknown threats over those they already know, such as the seasonal flu or car accidents. . Constant media coverage contributes to this sense of danger, which leads to heightened fear and escalation of perceived danger.
To reduce anxiety limit your exposure to information about the coronavirus as much as possible. Remember that we are more anxious when we are faced with situations that we cannot compare to a known situation. The anxiety this causes makes things even more worth to experience and create a vicious circle.

6. Take – even more – care of yourself
In these difficult times, it is important to remember the proven methods of preventing and reducing anxiety. Get enough sleep, exercise regularly, practice mindfulness, spend time in nature, and use relaxation techniques when you are stressed.
Focusing on these behaviors during any crisis can go a long way in improving your psychological well-being and strengthening your immune system.

7. Seeking professional help is not a weakness
Those most affected by anxiety and related disorders may be particularly hard hit by this time of the epidemic. As a result, they may experience symptoms that interfere with their social relationships, their ability to work, or their ability to care for themselves and others.
If you feel concerned, seek professional help from your doctor or mental health professional. Cognitive behavioral therapy and certain medications can help treat anxiety problems effectively.

Although you may feel helpless during this stressful time, these strategies can help you avoid being overwhelmed with anxiety and help you navigate the epidemic better.
Although you may feel helpless during this stressful time, these strategies can help you avoid being overwhelmed with anxiety and help you navigate the epidemic better.