Without a doubt, we are collectively going through something most of us have never even envisioned was possible. This is the first time the entire world has been simultaneously struck down with something as severe as this new strain of Coronavirus is turning out to be, at least in our lifetime. Needless to say, many of us are feeling anxious and extremely stressed, and social isolation isn’t exactly helping with that.
Worried and stressed about social isolation due to COVID-19? Try these tips to help you reduce some of those negative feelings and weather the storm better.
Whether you have suffered from anxiety pre-COVID-19, or are starting to feel the pressures of heightened stress as the pandemic draws on, here are several tips to help you reduce some of those negative feelings and weather the storm better.
Stop watching the news
Knowing what is going on in the world is, of course, important. Even more important is staying up to date with rules and regulations in your own area. However, constantly being tuned in to something as overwhelmingly negative as present-day news can be detrimental to anyone’s health.
The best thing you can do for yourself is limit exposure:
- Only watch the news once or twice a day, and stop checking death tolls and stats.
- If there is one main news broadcast in your area, watch only that and nothing else.
- Limit your exposure to social media accounts that talk about the situation in a stress-inducing way.
- You can, if you feel the need to do so, stop watching the news altogether, and ask a friend or family member to notify you of the most important things that apply to you specifically (like operating businesses or other local info).
Don’t think of this as plunging your head in the sand – nothing good can come of your increased anxiety, and putting your mental health first has never been as important as it is now.
Remember, during this pandemic, we are all going through the same set of #emotions: fear, panic, stress.
Remember that we are all going through the same thing
One of the things that often helps with anxiety is knowing you are not alone.
Your negative thoughts can sometimes make you feel very distant from other human beings, and you can feel like you have it the worst. However, today, we are all going through the same set of emotions: fear, panic, stress.
Talk to your friends or family about how you feel and how they feel. Not every day, and not all the time, but sometimes, when you feel things are getting too much, have a zoom or video call with someone and just vent to each other. Talking things out and realizing others are feeling it too will make the strain a little easier.
Also, try not to focus on the unknown masses who are going through a horrible time. Yes, there are undoubtedly people who are suffering worse than others at the moment – but unless you can think of a concrete way to help them, don’t dwell on it.
Again, this has nothing to do with selfishness – it has everything to do with survival.
Take care of your body
Being healthy has probably never seemed more important than it does now. While you’re social distancing and have a bit more time on your hands, try to focus on giving your body what it needs.
You can start by improving your diet and lifestyle as much as you can. Granted, your access to to certain things might be limited, but do the best you can with what you have available:
- Eat the rainbow. Support your health and immune system with a nutritious, plant-based diet. Look up isolation recipes online, and try your hand at making some of them.
- Try to supplement what you may not be getting, and increase your vitamin intake if you need to to combat stress.
- Make sure you move every day – do some yoga or stretching, try a silent and apartment-friendly workout, walk outside if you can maintain appropriate physical distance from others. Movement is one of the best ways to keep anxiety at bay, as it unleashes all kinds of beneficial hormones and helps manage stress.
- This is also a great time to pamper yourself: indulge in a bit of TLC, take good care of your skin, do a hair mask, try out some home-made face masks, do your nails, test out a new makeup routine, do your hair differently, or take a relaxing detox bath. Just because no one can technically see you doesn’t mean you can’t take care of yourself for yourself (as you always should).
- Make sure you get enough sleep. However, don’t just focus on the number of hours you’re sleeping. That’s because if you’re sleeping for 7-8 hours, but not waking up feeling refreshed and energized it likely means you need to find ways to enhance the overall quality of your sleep.
In these difficult times, remember that whatever you are feeling is normal. All you need to do right now is survive: mentally and physically.
In these difficult times, remember that whatever you are feeling is normal. Don’t push yourself to be more productive, or get something done, or learn a new skill, or come out of isolation a better person. All you need to do right now is survive: mentally and physically. Whatever it is that makes you feel better and is safe to do – do it, and don’t give yourself a harder time than it needs to be.
What are your tips for reducing worry and stress during difficult times?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.
About the Author
Hannah Thomas is a gardening and environmental enthusiast. Garden is the place where she feels most comfortable, that’s why there are always a lot of books and empty coffee cups on the back porch.
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