COVID-19 pandemic is stressful for most of us. We went from having fixed schedules to a lot of time in our hands. Anxiety is the fear of the unknown. Since much about COVID-19 is still unknown. Anxiety is just a normal reaction in times like these. In persons with mental illnesses, this time is particularly hard.  Repetitive hand washing and social distancing is the need of the hour. Stress along with this is leading to exacerbation of symptoms. Individual fears are being deepened and reinforced. Difference between stress , fear and anxiety would be the degree to which it affects your daily life & sleep. Every person will have a different way of dealing with stress. Some will focus all their energies in storing up on goods and finances for personal gain and since that is the only thing we have control over now. Some will help others and be more altruistic in these times. We mustn't lose our foresight for our country and community as a whole. Together we can overcome anything. There is strength in unity. Let us not lose empathy and compassion.

Tips to overcome anxiety in this period :

1. Limit information overload. Learn when to switch off and de-stress.

2. Stick to one source of information preferably WHO/ ICMR.

3. Practice mindfulness and meditation. 

4. Take time to indulge in hobbies or learn new things.

5. Move around or exercise inside your home. 

6. Make a temporary workplace.

7. Try to bathe and get ready as you normally would.

8. Continue healthy habits.

9. Continue medicines as prescribed until you can visit the doctor again.

10. Avoid continued alcohol use for sleep issues and anxiety.

11. Sleep well

12. Adequate hydration

13. Maintain a thank you diary for all our blessings eg: food, shelter.

14. Accept the current situation.

15. Spend time with loved ones via phone calls or video chats. It's time to reach out to our friends.

16. Conflicts may occur as all members of the family might not get along but try to calm down and understand other person's reasons for outburst.

17. Consult your psychiatrist in case of mood or sleep disturbances.

18. Help senior citizens with technology queries & groceries.