Anxiety is a normal reaction to things that might harm us or feelings of uncertainty. While anxiety is a normal reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, too much anxiety can cause harm or impact our daily lives. It can be stressful getting a COVID-19 test done and sometimes waiting for results can cause significant anxiety. We know it is hard to wait and especially when things feel out of your own control. Here are some things you can do to sooth your worry after your test:
Schedule a time to check for results
If you can, limit the number of times you check the results website to once a day. Checking repeatedly may increase your anxiety. Monitor your symptoms, but resist the urge to check your temperature repeatedly. Pick scheduled times in the day and record it to reduce the risk of forgetting and needing to check again.
Limit or minimize your newsfeeds
Try to reduce the amount of news you consume through television, the internet, or radio. It is okay to seek out the latest COVID info once or twice a day but don’t check the news every hour or keep CNN on all day long.
Reduce social media related to COVID-19
Mute accounts on social media that cause you anxiety or go into great detail about COVID statistics, deaths, or experiences. Not everyone who gets COVID-19 will experience the same symptoms, hospitalization, or treatment and focusing on these things can significantly increase your anxiety.
Keep a daily routine
Wake up and go to sleep at similar times every day, eat healthy meals at regular time, find some time to move everyday (every little bit helps!), keep up with your personal hygiene, and make time to do things you enjoy.
Social contact is important
Although you are quarantining until you get your results, make sure to keep in touch with family and friends virtually.
Set aside some worry time
If you find yourself worrying for a significant portion of your day, set some time aside per day to focus on your worries and write them down. Take a look at what you are worrying about. Is each item something that is in your control or out of your control? If they are things that are within your control, are they things that you can apply problem solving to? If they are, spend some time brainstorming some solutions you can action on to put the worries to rest.
We know this is an unprecedented and worrying time and above all we want you to remember to be kind to yourself. If you need support or have questions about COVID-19 you can call the UW COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-UW-COV19 (1-833-892-6819) or Counselling Services at 519-888-4567 ext. 32655.