Coronavirus has plunged the world into uncertainty and the constant news about the pandemic can feel relentless. All of this is taking its toll on people’s mental health, particularly those already living with conditions like anxiety and OCD. So how can we protect our mental health? Being concerned about the news is understandable, but for many people it can make existing mental health problems worse. A few key recommendations:
- Limit the amount of time you spend reading or watching things which trigger feelings of anxiety or stress, or perhaps decide on a specific time to check in with the news. There is a lot of misinformation swirling around so it is important to stay informed by sticking to trusted sources of information such as government and NHS websites.
- Have breaks from social media and mute Facebook/Twitter pages or WhatsApp groups which may be triggering.
- Wash your hands, but not excessively. For people with OCD and some types of anxiety, being constantly told to wash your hands can be especially difficult to hear, especially as this may be behaviour that you have been advised professionally to avoid. Charity OCD Action says the issue to look out for is the function –