Since the news of more known cases of coronavirus in Bangladesh was made public recently, and new information is emerging daily, we understand how this can cause you stress and anxiety. To learn about coronavirus or COVID19 you can check out our blog post on coronavirus and your health

For your own health and safety, it is advised to maintain social distancing. This means to avoid large gatherings or crowds. If you have to be around people, keep 3 feet (1 meter) distance between you and other people. 

Stress can cause a big impact on our immune system and we need to prioritize our own health – both mentally and physically. Hence, it is crucial to stay calm to be able to better cope with this situation.  

Why are you feeling stressed? 

Stress is the signal from your body that it is working to keep you safe. During stressful situations, your sympathetic nervous system gets into a “fight or flight” mode – meaning that you feel like something will harm you, which could be a real or an imagined threat.  

This threat is characterised by an increase in the flow of adrenalin, heart palpitations, sweating, etc. The mental association with this can make you sleep-deprived as a result of constant engagement in worrying thoughts. All of this is your body’s response to a perceived threat.  

The good news is that you can take the below measures to keep your stress and anxiety levels under control.     

How to reduce anxiety? 

Adequate sleep 

Getting enough sleep is essential to reduce anxiety and it is crucial that you get proper rest. Adequate sleep helps our bodies to perform best and to steer clear of potential viruses.  

While you may be tempted to stay up late to catch up on the latest news, it’s more important to let your body rest. Getting adequate sleep will allow your body to perform at its very best and fend off potential viruses. 

We understand that stress might make it harder for you to sleep. If you are having trouble sleeping and think you may need to speak to a professional, call 10648 and our family doctors can help you. 

Regular exercise 

High levels of the stress hormone cortisol can cause our immune system to be compromised. Exercise helps to reduce the level of this hormone while releasing endorphins which elevates our mood and happiness. 

We know that you should refrain from close contact with others during this time. If you do choose to go to the gym, please be extra mindful to wash your hands or hand sanitize thoroughly before and after using any shared equipment, and do not touch your face or eyes during your workout. If you choose to avoid the risks of going to your gym, you may opt to go for a run at a relatively less crowded road or park, bicycle, or engage in exercises that you can do at home.  

Remember – the key is movement, so even walking up a few flights of stairs or moving your body to your favorite tunes in the comfort of your room can help. It will also help you sleep better. 

Maintain a healthy diet

In moments of stress, we may often turn to our comfort food which isn’t always nutritious. It’s easy to let your diet slide and turn to less nutritious comfort foods. When it comes to managing your anxiety, however, a balanced diet is vital for your health. As we usually recommend, focus on eating fresh, unprocessed, whole foods in order to maintain a strong immune system.

Limit nicotine and alcohol consumption 

It is very common for smokers to light up a cigarette when stressed or anxious, and some may also turn to alcohol to take the edge off. However, both nicotine and alcohol can disrupt sleep and have adverse effects on your mood. Therefore, it is best to limit the consumption of nicotine, alcohol, or any other substances.

If you need help reducing your nicotine or alcohol consumption, Praava can help. Call 10648 to talk to one of our family doctors.   

Stay connected with friends and family

Although it is advised that you avoid public gatherings or even large gatherings of friends and family, it is important to stay in touch with your loved ones. You can simply chat over a voice or a video call, or meet up with your friends and family in smaller groups.

Research shows that being in close connection with the people you care about can increase your happiness level.  

The best part is that you don’t even have to talk about COVID19! Talk about the latest movies you’ve watched, books you are reading, or anything that makes you feel good or laugh. 

Don’t forget – laughter is the best medicine after all!  

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