Anxiety is at an all-time high as the spread of COVID-19, also known as “coronavirus,” continues to disrupt everyday life. Many places have shut down all non-essential businesses. A lot of people are living under quarantine and must distance themselves from others. While these drastic measures are necessary to slow the spread of the coronavirus, they can also create anxiety, especially in individuals who are already predisposed to mental health struggles.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to manage your anxiety during these times. These suggestions are safe for those in quarantine though anyone can do them for anxiety relief. Here are five ways to cope with pandemic related anxiety:
Remember that the pandemic is temporary.
It is uncertain for how long life will be impacted by the pandemic. Officials have said it could take several months to possibly the rest of the year for things to return to normal. Regardless of how long it takes, try to remember that there will come a day when COVID-19 is no longer a threat. Reminding yourself of this fact can help you put everything into perspective.
Practice deep breathing.
Taking control of your breath is one way to ease anxiety, especially if it feels like a panic attack is coming on. Start by focusing on your body and getting into a comfortable position. Then, think about how you are breathing. Breathe in slowly through your nose and fill up your belly with air. Then breathe out through your nose and let all of the air out of you. If you repeat the controlled breathing steps several times, you will begin to feel better in no time.
Try guided meditation.
These can give you a small escape from the pandemic stress and relieve anxiety. A guided meditation is an audio or video recording of another person telling you how to relax your body while visualizing relaxing imagery. They can be found online for free though more in-depth meditations from experienced practitioners are also available at affordable prices.
Do indoor exercises.
One of the best ways to beat the physical symptoms of anxiety is to increase your heart rate and improve circulation. Don’t let lockdowns and quarantines convince you that getting physical activity is impossible. Here are some exercise ideas you can use without leaving your home:
Look for yoga videos online, many of which are available for free or on streaming services. Start with a video for beginners and work up from there. A rug or carpet will do if you don’t have a yoga mat.
Turn up the music and dance. Move the furniture out of the way to make space if you need to. If you are under lockdown with family or roommates, invite them to join you for even more fun.
Do calisthenics like pushups, jumping jacks, planks, and squats. These are all excellent ways to strengthen your body without needing gym equipment. Use canned goods as weights if you don’t have any, to tone your arms.
Practice gratitude daily.
It can be helpful to focus on the positive during stressful and uncertain times. A simple way to keep yourself grounded is to write down five things that make you feel thankful every day. Thinking about the good in your life can have anxiety-relieving benefits.
With these strategies in mind, it will be easier to keep your anxiety under control during the pandemic. Your mental health is just as important as taking precautions against contracting and spreading the coronavirus. As a future benefit, you may find that these tips also help when there is no pandemic going on.