Opinion: Five ways to beat anxiety and take back control of your life during the COVID-19 pandemic – based on science

People wearing masks hurry through a station concourse

Anxiety is tough to deal with at the best of times. It’s even tougher when we’re in the midst of a pandemic that is causing chaos around the globe. Dr Olivia Remes, a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, shares her top tips on looking after your mental health during this difficult period.

When you look at the news, all you hear about are the latest deaths and numbers of people infected by coronavirus, along with tips on how to avoid infection, how to protect yourself, how to avoid sick people… This is enough to make even the calmest of individuals experience anxiety, and it’s even worse if you’re dealing with a mental health condition.

One in six people has a common mental health problem such as anxiety and depression in England. If you add to that the fears and stress surrounding coronavirus, what do you get? A grim situation which makes it hard to cope and go through daily life. 

Fortunately, there are ways – based on science – that allow you to take back control and lower your anxiety levels during this time of uncertainty. We’re all going through a difficult time, so it’s very important that we take care of our mental health. Here are some simple steps that will help you take back control of the situation, take back control of your life, and take back control of your mental wellbeing.

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Image: Coronavirus

Credit: Chad Davis

Reproduced courtesy of the University of Cambridge


The University of Cambridge is acknowledged as one of the world's leading higher education and research institutions. The University was instrumental in the formation of the Cambridge Network and its Vice- Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, is also the President of the Cambridge Network.

University of Cambridge (cam.ac.uk)