COVID-19 and anxiety

Understandably, your customers and staff will be worried about the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 virus, as well as their health and that of their family.

This may be particularly significant for those living with anxiety conditions, stress and/or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), but anxiety can also be caused through worrying about the COVID-19 outbreak.

Signs of anxiety include:

Shortness of breath – which may be of particular concern as this is a symptom of COVID-19

Sense of a loss of control

Sweating, trembling Nausea or shaking


Advice for coping with anxiety:

  • Take breaks from the media coverage, and only read facts from trusted sources – e.g. the World Health Organization (WHO) or official government websites
  • Talk to friends, family or counsellors about their feelings
  • Exercise can help – if someone is in isolation, there are many online exercise tutorials available. They can also pop outside for a walk and some fresh air – just remind them to keep their distance from others
  • Avoid using alcohol/drugs to deal with the emotions
  • Take time for relaxing/fun activities – such as yoga, reading, a relaxing bath, listening to music, chatting with friends (if in self-isolation, this could be done online/over the phone)
  • Eat a healthy, varied diet and get plenty of sleep
  • Relaxation or mindfulness apps may help
  • Focus on what is within their control (e.g. taking personal steps to avoid transmission of the virus) and spend less time thinking about what they can’t control.

There are many organisations/websites out there that provide help and support, such as:

If customers need more support, the NHS can provide free cognitive behavioural therapy, and customers can refer themselves directly to psychological therapies.

Peer support brings people together to support each other. There are support groups on the websites of Anxiety UK and No More Panic, for example.

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