There are different types of anxiety that people deal with. For example, there is social anxiety and also generalized anxiety disorder.
There is also post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, which is triggered by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event.
Whether you have pre-existing anxiety or you’ve developed symptoms of anxiety recently, coronavirus is serving as a trigger for many of us.
Since March, most states in the country have been under some form of lockdown. These social distancing measures were put into place as a way to break the transmission of coronavirus, also known as covid-19.
The anxiety related to covid-19 is multifaceted.
Some people are worried about the virus itself and the potential they will catch it or their loved one will. There is also an economic component of the anxiety because so many businesses are closed right now.
Then, there are people experiencing anxiety as a result of the unknown or because they’re spending so much time alone and at home without other things to occupy their minds.
As a lot of states are lifting their lockdown measures, that can lead to new types of anxiety for people who want to return to work but are also afraid.
It’s a difficult time for nearly everyone right now, but the following are some healthy ways to deal with anxiety you might be experiencing during this pandemic.
Cut Your Media Consumption
If you watch the news, look at social media or browse news websites, you are more than likely going to see things that cause you anxiety. Yes, this may be the reality of what’s happening in the world right now, but that doesn’t mean you need to consume so much of this information nonstop.
If you want to stay informed at up-to-date on current events, limit yourself to no more than 30 minutes each day.
This includes social media because people share news stories there, but we’re also in an emotionally heightened time so it can lead to disagreements which can further your anxiety.
There are studies showing that even outside of the specific situation we’re in right now, people experience an increase in symptoms of anxiety and depression when they spend too much time on social media.
You might not want to give up social media altogether, because it can offer social connection right now, but you need to recognize when it’s doing more harm than good and take steps to walk away.
Use Other Forms of Technology to Connect
Social connection is so important for our mental health and the mental health of our loved ones, however, we may be physically disconnected from people we care about right now.
Rely on technology to stay connected, but not necessarily social media.
Instead, try to carve time out each day to talk with people who uplift you and who you love on Zoom or FaceTime.
Allow Yourself to Feel Worried But Don’t Let It Takeover
If you’re worried about any aspect of the covid-19 pandemic, that’s ok. It’s normal to be worried and if you weren’t worried that would be different from the feelings of most other people.
Allow yourself to feel worried and accept your feelings, but then take steps to ensure this worry doesn’t take over your life.
If you’re too hard on yourself about being worried or anxious, that can make those feelings worse so it can be a never-ending loop. Think about ways you can break the loop.
Take the steps you need to be prepared and protect yourself on a personal level, and then try to move forward.
Maintain a Schedule and Routine
Even as a lot of cities and states are starting to open up, our daily lives can still look a lot different than they did a few months ago. You may have been laid off of your job, or working from home. You might continue to work from home for a while.
You may also have kids at home with you during this time since schools are canceled.
To maintain a sense of control over your feelings and your life, create a schedule and routine and stick to them even when you don’t want to.
Having a routine is one of the best ways to deal with stress and stay healthy even when you’re facing tremendous challenges.
Write down your daily schedule and include even small things. This way you can feel accomplished when you complete these tasks and it will motivate you to continue. For example, have the first thing you do each day be making your bed.
You’ll start out on a positive foot and feeling like you’ve accomplished something when you do it, even though it’s a small task.
Set Big Goals For Yourself
No matter what situation you’re in right now, try to set a big goal for yourself and work toward it every day.
Maybe you work on learning a language or starting a blog. Perhaps you start a garden or clean out your house.
Set one big project that you can complete so that it will keep your mind busy and allow you to feel like you’re in control and achieving something.
Staying busy is important for our mental health in even the best of times, and especially in times like what we’re facing right now.
When you’re feeling stressed or trying to cope with anxiety, going outside is so simple but also so effective.
When you go outside, particularly on a sunny day, you’re getting vitamin D. Vitamin D is an immune system booster and also a mood booster.
If you go outside and do something physical or active, even if you’re just taking a walk, it boosts your endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals.
Being in nature lowers your stress, too, because it reduces something called cortisol, which is a stress hormone.
If you’re dealing with anxiety during coronavirus, you aren’t alone. There is a lot you can’t control right now, so shift your thinking to focus on the things you can control in your own life.