Since the beginning of the pandemic, officials worldwide have constantly used the threat of a coronavirus second wave infections in an effort to encourage people to follow public health guidelines.

During the Spanish Flu of 1918, officials documented three distinct waves of illness beginning in March of that year. The second wave of that pandemic, which was far deadlier than the first, hit in the fall of 1918 before it subsided for almost a year and made a resurgence again in the fall/winter of 1919. Since then, the metaphor coronavirus second wave has been used on many occasions in reference to other influenza outbreaks throughout the 20th century.

Can a Second Wave Be Prevented?

Until there is a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 or a scenario where everyone  is immune, individuals will have to continue to be careful to avoid infections. This includes to physically distance from each other, wear masks, and practice good cleaning hygiene to avoid devastating second or even more subsequent waves of infection.

What About Covid Related Stress and Anxiety?

Understandably, you may be worried about the on-going Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This leads to fear and anxiety, which affects your ability to cope with these current times. Such induced stress is an overwhelming emotion capable of causing even further stress-related health conditions. It is vital to remain calm and optimistic during this period. Here are some ways to overcome your anxiety.

1. Take a break from the news

Whether via TV, your phone, or social media, you must make every effort to take a conscious break from consuming any news related to the pandemic. Repeatedly hearing terrible news is upsetting and a catalyst to elevate your heart rate and the last thing you need right now is to put your mental health at risk.

Make a deliberate attempt to avoid the news or skip news concerning updates on the virus. You can try auto-setting your television to change channels to your favorite sitcoms, movies, or other exciting talk shows. Better yet, use the time to go for a walk or exercise at home – which is more beneficial to your physical and mental health. Anything healthy you can do to take a much needed break from the news is a welcome idea.

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2. Establish a sleep pattern

Anxiety decreases your ability to sleep or get adequate rest, but there are some measures you can take to combat this. A lack of sleep further increases anxiety levels by 30%. According to science experts, a part of the brain (medial prefrontal cortex) gets deactivated after a sleepless night. The medial prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain responsible for reducing anxiety, making decisions, and retrieving long-term memory. When it is not functioning correctly, your body goes into overdrive to compensate for these negative emotions.

That is why some people seek momentary release through alcohol or smoking to cope with anxiety. Therefore, before you go to bed, indulge in a warm bath or self-massage, especially around the neck and shoulders to help your body relax. You should also create a sleep-conducive environment to help you fall asleep.

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Establish a Sleep Routine

3. Adopt healthy routines 

Despite your anxiety levels and its potential to leave you forgetful, you must be conscious of healthy practices at home and everywhere else. Drink a lot of water, eat balanced meals, exercise regularly, wear your nose masks (when out), abide by the social distancing protocols, and most importantly, keep your hands clean at all times.

If you have no access to running water and soap, use alcohol-based (70% alcohol or more) sanitisers. Today, several online platforms are offering useful tips when washing your hands. You should rely on them to find the right and safe ways to keep your hands clean in this period.

4. Make effective use of time at home

Upon first thought, social distancing sounds like a nuisance; but what you should realize is, it is an opportune time to catch up on things you neglected (due to busy work schedules) before the pandemic. Perform chores, do some gardening, read more books, or cook a meal from scratch.

If you have always considered embarking on some home improvements, start putting your thoughts on paper. Keeping yourself busy with activities you love helps to get your mind off the negative feelings that come with thinking about the pandemic. You can expend your mental energy towards worthwhile ventures which stimulate the production of oxytocin, vasopressin, oestrogen (in females), and testosterone (in males). These are hormones that have tremendous effects on suppressing anxiety.

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Maintain a healthy social network

5. Maintain a healthy social network

One of the most critical coronavirus second wave precautions is to stay away from gatherings. If that is impossible for you, wear your nose mask and observe social distancing when you need to attend a function. That notwithstanding, how do you maintain a healthy social network with these drastic life changes? Technology is the answer.

You can still stay connected with friends and family via countless video chatting platforms. Checking up on your social network, engaging in fun conversations, and seeing what they are up to is an elixir to mental health. You tend to feel less lonely, frustrated, and anxious. 

Your ability to cope with stress and anxiety is a significant determinant of whether you break down or not in this pandemic. Remember, if you have existing chronic conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, anxiety may aggravate your health. Stress elevates sugar levels and increases the pressure at which your heart pumps blood in your body. Take immediate measures to alleviate coronavirus second wave-induced anxiety.

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