Ten Ways to Deal with the Anxiety Surrounding the Coronavirus Pandemic

deal with the anxiety surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic

It’s okay if you have anxiety because of the Coronavirus Pandemic. 

It’s okay if you’re worried about your future.

It’s okay if you’re overwhelmed by everything that’s happening right now.

Although the stress and anxiety you may be feeling is a perfectly valid response to this uncertain time, it can be damaging to the immune system over long periods. 

It’s why I wanted to share ten easy and accessible ways to help you stay calm and grounded throughout this unprecedented time.

Ten Ways to Stay Calm During the Coronavirus Pandemic:

1. Take a few deep breaths.

Research shows that your breath is a powerful tool to ease stress and make you feel less anxious. Taking a few deep breaths can make a big difference in managing your anxiety if you make it a part of your daily routine. 

2. Journal about how you’re feeling.

By writing about your thoughts and feelings, you can gain valuable insights into why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling. This can help you to release the emotions you’re feeling, identify what you can control and what you can’t, and help you to map out a plan which focuses on the factors you can control. 

3. Mindfully drink something.

Moving your attention from your mind to your body can help to reduce your anxiety. As you take a sip of your favorite drink, pay attention to the temperature of it. Notice the the way it tastes and feels in your mouth. 

4. Get creative

Creativity engages and focuses our minds on the task at hand – and helps us to move past our feelings of stress and anxiety. Research actually shows that different forms of artistic expressions can decrease in our levels of cortisol, a hormone that the body secretes to respond to stress.

5. Move your body.

All forms of movement medicine (exercise, dancing, stretching, etc) has long been proven to increase the feel good hormones in the body. Regular exercise can also help you to sleep better, which can further reduce anxiety and depression.

6. Limit your daily news exposure.

There is a difference between being responsibly informed, and being overwhelmed and inundated by what’s happening. Decide when is the best time for you to catch up on the impact of Coronavirus. Try to avoid checking in throughout the day.

7. Listen to soothing music.

8. Watch funny movies or TV shows. 

9. Spend time on a hobby

10. Connect with loved ones regularly.

This is probably the most important point on this list. Having meaningful connection with loved ones will help you to feel supported during this very difficult time. If you’d like some guidance on maintaining connections while social distancing, check out my recent post here. 

Everything surrounding this Coronavirus pandemic is overwhelming and stressful.

This makes it even more essential to take care of yourself.

Even though this list not exhaustive, I hope that it can help you to stay healthy throughout this time.

By doing a few small things everyday, you can help to reduce stress and inflammation in your body and bring some space and calm to your anxious mind. 

Know someone who might need these tips? 

Share this post with them.

Self-Care Tip: Spend Time in Nature

outdoors, nature, forest bathing

Stressed, irritable  and burnt out. 

That’s how I felt those last few days. Not even my usual yoga and meditation practice could do much to improve my mood.

I also felt isolated from my boyfriend. Our weekly date had become collateral damage to the other, more-pressing, things in both our lives. 

The sky was so blue that Wednesday morning, mocking me with its happy fluffy clouds and overall vibrance.

I wanted to go back to bed. But my boyfriend suggested we play hooky from life and try to spend some time together

Reluctantly, I agreed. I’m glad I did because as we drove through the miles and miles of coconut trees to get to the beach my mood improved.

 

We barely spent 2 hours at the beach itself, less than half that time in the water (the waves were really rough that day). But even so, we both got back home feeling happier, renewed and more connected.

Apparently we’re not alone in feeling like this.

It turns out spending time in nature has amazing benefits for our mind, bodies and spirit.

According to several studies, spending time in nature can significantly decrease stress. The participants in these studies had lower levels of cortisol (the hormone that’s used as a marker for stress) and a lowered heart rate (less anxiety). 

Outdoor time can also reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is linked to autoimmune disorder, IBS, hypertension, depression and even cancer!

The burnt out, irritable feelings I had are so common that it’s actually being researched.

It’s referred to as fatigue and, as I inadvertently found out, spending time in nature can help with it. 

Walking among some trees, having a picnic, or strolling along the shore is shown to increase focus, creativity and self-esteem. 

Nature therapy may just be the perfect antidote to the fatigue and burn out so many of us report feeling- it’s free, readily available, and has zero side effects.

Studies in Japan even show that their practice of forest bathing is associated with a lower risk of early death. 

We all want longer, healthier lives, don’t we?

So carve out some time this week to visit your favorite park, hiking trail or beach.

You’ll literally be happier and healthier if you do.

If you’d like to learn more about the health benefits of spending time in nature, check out this Business Insider article.