4 Ways to Cope with Pandemic Anxiety
Chances are, you’ve felt anxious because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But what if you’ve realized that your anxiety isn’t just a passing discomfort? There has been plenty to worry about over the past year. From fear of the virus itself to economic stress to trying to get a vaccine, it’s only natural if you feel you just can’t shake your anxiety.
With countless stressors to deal with, you may feel like your anxiety has become a permanent fixture. But even during these tumultuous times, you can take steps to address your anxiety and feel more content on a daily basis.
Here are a few lifestyle changes that can help you lower your stress levels and manage your anxiety.
1. Change Your Media Diet
Yes, staying informed about the impact of the pandemic in your area is important. But if you find yourself glued to the screen for most of the day, checking out the latest headlines as your stress levels skyrocket, it’s time to switch up your media diet.
Reaching for your phone and taking in all the worst news first thing in the morning and the last thing before you go to bed will only bring your mood down.
To find a smart balance, find a couple of trusted local sources that you can turn to for news that is relevant to your community, and take a break from the 24 hours news cycle for a while. You’ll notice that your mind feels clear, and you can focus on what matters most.
2. Spend Time Outdoors
You’ve spent so much time indoors throughout the pandemic. If you live in a small apartment, you might feel like the walls are closing in on you. And even if you live in a large home with a yard, you may crave a change of scenery.
The solution? Make it a point to spend time outside whenever the weather allows. You don’t just have to stick to your own yard, either. You can go for strolls around your neighborhood on pleasant mornings or evenings, head to a nearby park for picnics on the weekend, or even head out to local hiking trails to stretch your legs. This is the perfect way to stay safe while giving yourself a break from the indoors.
3. Stay in Touch
There’s a high probability that your friends and family feel just as anxious as you do. And the fact that you haven’t been able to see each other in person is probably exacerbating these feelings. If you know that your loved ones are in the same boat, reach out and give them a call.
Maybe you and a friend could have a standing “phone date” on Fridays to vent about anything that’s on your mind.
You can also plan for outdoor activities with loved ones who aren’t high risk for COVID-19, as long as they’re comfortable with the idea. Seeing the people you love most can definitely soothe your worries.
4. Screen-Free Hobbies
Finding screen-free hobbies you can do indoors can also help lower your anxiety. When your options for things to do are limited, it can be tough to put down your laptop or smartphone.
Why not choose a new novel to check out, cooking or baking recipes you haven’t tried before, or even starting a brand-new creative project? Giving yourself a break from screens can help you leave your worries behind.
Are you struggling to deal with anxiety brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic? Talk therapy can help you process your emotions. Reach out to us today to discuss your options for scheduling your first session.