I am feeling anxious/stressed/worried about COVID-19 and the news. What can I do?
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected us all on a wide-reaching scale. At the time of writing this article (2021), much of the world is still in lockdown and many young people feel disconnected to their peers and friends. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the news and emerging developments related to COVID-19.
Here are our top tips to start feeling better
- Notice your feelings
Being aware of how you feel is the first step to making better decisions towards how you feel about yourself. If you always feel anxious when you use social media or visit news pages, it’s time to...
- Reduce your screen time
Social media has transformed the way we absorb information daily and we can all access it in multiple new ways. If our news feeds and notification alerts are on news/information that does not empower you, then it might be an idea to stop focussing of a lot of your time on them, reduce how much you read about a specific subject or
- Do a Deep Cleanse
We don’t mean in the bath! We mean unfollow any news sites or users whose posts make you feel anxious, stressed or worried. Instead, opt into following a more positive stream of information that makes you feel happy, excited or energised.
- Spread Positivity
If the news you read, notifications you notice and the posts/videos you share are mostly negative then you are passing on that fear to your friends and family members. Is there anything you have seen or watched that has inspired/motivated you? Sharing these messages is a great way to uplift not only your mood but potentially your friends and family. You can also create your own positive messages to combat the effects of negative messaging.
- Be aware of negative friends or family members
In general, negativity by others can affect our mental wellbeing, so take care of your feelings and protect yourself. Try not to place unnecessary pressure on yourself to cheer someone up, solve their problems or have a solution. It is through this that it is important to practise asserting your boundaries.
However, it is important to note that friends and family members may have lost loved ones due to the pandemic, so negativity and low moods can be completely understandable and whatever support you can offer them will be appreciated by them.
- Focus on what you can do – not what you can’t
COVID-19 and lockdown can feel suffocating. But there are still things you can do to feel more positive. Read, dance in your room, listen to positive songs/music, play games, connect with friends and family through video chat, watch and do things that are fun and make you feel good about yourself. These examples are great ways of taking control of how you feel and refocusing your attention to something more uplifting.
- Reconnect with friends and family
It can feel very isolating to not be able to see your friends and family during lockdown and it’s been a long time since we’ve been able to act ‘normally’. Reach out to your friends and family to let them know how you’re feeling; chances are, they will be experiencing similar feelings! A problem shared is a problem halved so be sure to talk through your feelings with a trusted adult and/or friend. Pick up the phone or arrange a video call to stay connected.
The Diana Award Crisis Messenger provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK. If you are a young person in crisis, you can text DA to 85258. Trained volunteers will listen to how you’re feeling and help you think through the next step towards feeling better.
You can also visit our Support Centre for a helpful list of organisations who can offer support.