Five tips for coping with pandemic anxiety

Updated: Apr 16

Anxiety. At some point in our lives, we all experience it. For some it’s worse than others. But during a major upheaval in our everyday lives like the one created by the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re all going to feel on edge.

With anxiety levels cranked up how are you coping? As someone who has been dealing with an anxiety disorder for what seems like the majority of my life, I feel like I’ve done a surprisingly good job at keeping the physical and mental symptoms of anxiety at bay. Here’s a few tips I’ve followed to help calm down during the pandemic so far.

Limit news intake

Exposure to too many negative and stressful stories can have a serious impact on your mental health. Limit your time watching the news and mindlessly scrolling through social media to avoid taking in too much. Instead of having the news on in the background, I like to put on a mindless comedy on Netflix to take my mind off everything. I find it does wonders for my mental health by limiting news intake and opting to watch funny or lighthearted content.

Be honest with you and those around you

Talk it out. With a friend, family member or loved one. Whether it’s on the phone, in person or through video chat. I find that when I’m struggling it’s always helpful to tell someone I trust what I’m feeling. Verbalizing those thoughts help you to better process them, too.

Self care

Since we’re all staying inside more than we’re used to, taking care of ourselves is of the most importance. I’ve been trying to get ample amounts of sleep, eat well and exercise at least 3-4 times per week. I’ve also been keeping up on my bills, keeping my areas tidy, and taking my medication on time, every day.

Create a routine

Trying to maintain as much normalcy in your life during uncertain times is important. I’m working from home right now so I’ve tried to carry as much of my workday routine home as possible. For example, I get up, have a shower, and retreat to my workspace stopping for occasional breaks and meals at determined times. I also try to ‘get ready’ most days and at the very least dry my hair and throw on some foundation. It just helps me to feel a bit more ‘ready’ for the day.

Focus on what you can control (not what you can’t)

I try to keep my brain focused on the things I can control. My anxiety manifests when I am not able to control the situation, so pandemic times are definitely a massive trigger. But I can control my news intake. I can control time spent on social media. I can control my ability to wash my hands and stay home. Looking at the can’s instead of the cant’s helps us to avoid feeling drained, anxious and overwhelmed.

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