Many people are forced to isolate themselves because of the pandemic, which could affect both physical and mental health. You can be one of the increasing numbers of anxious individuals as the number of COVID cases continues to rise. Almost a fifth of the world’s population is suffering from anxiety every year in pre-covid, says the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Here is more alarming than the virus itself, not seeing your loved ones face-to-face that make you feel sad, even when you are not ill from covid. Happily, anxiety has many cures that might just be around the corner. I am going to show some tips to protect your peace in the middle of your isolation. Read on!
“What is Anxiety in Coronavirus Times?”
Anxiety is the feeling of more than just sadness, as people with this illness also suffer physically like muscle tension. It can make you unfocused and exaggerates whatever is troubling your mind which could happen during isolation. There are more reasons now to feel anxious than in pre-covid times because of sad headlines, noxious social media posts, and perhaps being infected by the killer virus.
Anxiety in coronavirus times is very alarming. The illness affects not only people with a history of clinical anxiety but even more for the front-liners who passionately worked since day one. That feeling of you need to isolate yourself to protect others is so rewarding, but when it takes longer than expected can be frustrating.
Whether you are under isolation or just following the physical distancing rules, these bits of advice may make you feel better:
1. Spend Quality Time
I believed most people are quarantined at home which is a huge opportunity to spend more quality time with the family. No need to travel extra miles or go to parties to feel okay, the best people are just around you.
To spend quality time need not be extra. Do simple activities such as baking together, playing board games, or just relaxed small talks to avoid idleness. It will help you cope with anxiety and build better relationships.
We are not socially distanced, thanks to technologies for making ways! You can keep in contact with your family and friends anytime and anywhere. Many new apps are available to enhance communication for long-distance calls as if we are just living together.
2. Be Social
Adapt to new-normal-kind of socializing. All people need to adjust from a normal life routine because of the pandemic. It may be difficult during the first months, which I also experienced to feel anxious thinking of all the plans suddenly washed away. As the pandemic continues, I learned to embrace the new normal and still feel connected with family and friends online.
Lack of social life is one of the causes of having anxiety. Face-to-face conversations may stop for a while, but the connection is still there. Sharing how you feel with others, or people you trust most is very helpful to feel less lonely.
Digital gatherings are common now, whether religious or any other events. Look more for events that will benefit your thoughts.
3. Social Media Break
Updates on social media can be stressful for someone prone to overthinking and anxiety. There is a lot of negativity we encounter online like the covid-19 cases rising every hour and it never stops. Also, it is unhealthy to feed your mind with headlines that may trigger your mental health.
Try to limit your time on social media, or learn to stick to helpful sites instead. Only absorb things that are relevant these days, not all information is beneficial for your whole being.
If your purpose is to keep informed about the news, you can spend a maximum of one hour facing your screens. Or, you can ask someone to filter the updates you only want to view for a moment.
Be mindful of the trusted sources you can browse for virus updates so that you can avoid fake news.
4. Learn a New Hobby
We have so much time to consume since the beginning of the pandemic, so use your time wisely to feel good. One of the causes of anxiety is an idle mind and body and hence getting busy can be a helpful way to cope up with the illness.
Maybe you are good at cooking, use the coronavirus times to hone your skills. Always make sure to spend your free time wisely to feel distracted for good. Or maybe you are planning to take a course, go for it.
I observed people of different ages that have discovered a new hobby like creating TikTok videos, which also entertains others who might be anxious as well. See the effect of you learning something new in your darkest moments.
5. Develop Self-care
Go back to basics – taking care of yourself. Being anxious is a curable illness with good self-care routines such as eating healthy, exercising, and sleeping 8-hours daily. Those practices are best for your mental health, in general, and very cost-effective to be performed at home.
Exercising is a great way for dopamine release and in increasing your endorphins or happy hormones. Moreover, a fit body results in better metabolism.
Self-care also includes meditation which benefits the mind and emotions. For example, it is a yoga practice to keep yourself relaxed and active at the same time. You can watch YouTube tutorials or get help from yoga experts to get started.
6. Find Your Purpose
Days, months, or even years of isolation are a perfect time to understand your purpose. It gives a sense of fulfillment doing your purpose in the middle of anxious thoughts. It is possible to still inspire others when you feel like drowning in life.
The pandemic has been teaching anybody to be more generous or to help others, and giving could be your purpose too. Covid-19 opened many opportunities to be compassionate, like donation drives, or simply being a one call away friend.
For someone feeling anxious today, it is never too late to find your purpose. You can still take action as many people believe in you. Start now!
7. Attend Online Church Services
The most effective way to carry the burden is to seek real rest. Coronavirus has been stealing the joys of people all around the world, and there is one possible outlet to still feel calm amidst pandemic.
Covid-19 makes churches more accessible by a great number of attendees online. Based on my experience, attending church digitally is a big help in fighting anxiety. It became a way not to feel burdened of which I can just surrender to the upper hand.
Some sermons target such mental problems to help someone believe there’s hope. Even if you are not religious, your heart will be struck with the truths and eventually lift your burdens.
8. Go Outdoors
Physical distancing allows walking outdoors at a healthy distance. Breathing fresh air helps to prevent anxious thoughts and makes you feel relaxed. Walk in not too crowded places every once in a while to discharge boredom, which can cause anxiety.
Do not compromise the set protocols while going outdoors such as wearing a mask and maintaining a 6-feet distance from other people. Protect yourself from the virus while taking some time to breathe natural air.
To wind down from an anxious situation does not always demand going to far places and spending money. You can escape reality by simply watching cars passing and feeling the fresh air.
9. Try Mindfulness
Anxiety can be similar to overthinking where someone is burdened with so many thoughts. Thinking too much will then result in heavy feelings that trigger being rude to yourself. Changing mindset is another way not to feel anxious in isolation, which could be difficult for someone experiencing anxiety attacks more often.
Instead of drowning your mind with negative thoughts, why not practice gratitude? There is so much to be grateful for even in times of pandemic that you can jot down and roof over your head. It can be challenging at first but pursue making it a habit for your future self to thank you for.
When bad things attack your mind, learn to counter-attack. It will take time but worth trying to see your changed mindset sooner or later.
10. Get Professional Help
Anyone can experience an anxiety disorder, including doctors and even me. Most people tend to self-evaluate whether they are anxious or just sad for a moment, which is not advisable. No matter how busy the Department of Health is, they can still cater to your needs when you call for help.
Professionals on mental health will assist you through phone or online sessions due to pandemic. When things get serious, you can reach out to a therapist for better treatments.
Joining online support groups is highly encouraged to easily cope up with anxiety during isolation. To journey with people experiencing the same struggles can speed up your healing and lift the burden.