Navigating Anxiety During Coronavirus
To say that a global pandemic is stressful is an understatement. Fear and anxiety about the unknown can be very overwhelming, and COVID-19 is a trigger for people already struggling with mental health, especially anxiety. That being said, nobody is immune from anxiety right now. It is okay to feel anxious and stressed during these unprecedented times, and acknowledging your feelings can help you cope in a healthy way. However, reducing stress is one of the best ways to deal with this pandemic.
Stress and anxiety can manifest in many different ways right now including fear and worry about health and difficulty sleeping, eating, or concentrating. So, how can we deal with the stress and anxiety amidst all of the uncertainty around us? There are many different ways to approach this, and different techniques will work for everyone. Here are just a few ideas:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories.
- Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
- Exercise daily and get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
- Stick to a routine.
- Get outside for at least 20 minutes a day.
- Avoid addictive substances.
- Make time for activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others (call, text, video chat).
- Many therapists are offering counsel to clients through video chat meetings (we have our very own therapist at Summit Wellness)!
- Learn a new skill (watercolor painting, cooking healthy meals, musical instruments).
- Start a gratitude journal.
Sometimes it may feel difficult to distract yourself because we are unable to participate in many of our normal activities. Here are some fun activities you can do by yourself or with your family to get your mind off of COVID-19:
- Take a virtual tour of the Louvre.
- Visit your favorite animals via live cam at the San Diego Zoo or the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
- Take a virtual hike through a national park.
- Make a self-care checklist.
- Do a puzzle.
- Make a craft.
There are many other things that we can do to reduce anxiety and get our minds off of COVID-19; these lists are just to get you thinking about all of the possibilities! Try implementing one of these suggestions into your life, or, come up with your own!