COVID-19 May Have Made Your Anxiety Worse (What to Do About It)
Perhaps you have always dealt with anxiety, but you had adopted a few strategies to manage your symptoms. However, the COVID-19 pandemic may have intensified your anxiety. Seeing the frightening headlines, being stuck indoors, and feeling disconnected from your loved ones could be causing your mental health to suffer.
It can be difficult to keep your anxiety at bay during such uncertain times. You might feel you’ve been cut off from your usual coping mechanisms. But there are steps you can take to boost your mood and reduce your stress levels. Try incorporating a few of these ideas into your daily routines to soothe your anxiety.
Monitor Your “Media Diet”
Yes, staying informed about the pandemic is important. You may need information about cases in your area, where to get tested, or how to make a vaccine appointment. But if you’re glued to the news for most of the day, your media diet could cause your anxiety to skyrocket.
Try setting limits on your media consumption. Maybe you could avoid checking the news until you’ve been up for a few hours or turn off all of your screens well before bedtime. You could also leave your phone off the table during meals.
Watch Your Caffeine Intake
Has staying at homemade you feel sluggish? You might be pouring yourself an extra cup of coffee or two each day. Maybe you brew a mug of green tea in the afternoon for a pick-me-up when you feel your energy dip. And perhaps you find yourself reaching for chocolate as comfort food.
But increasing your caffeine intake can also send your anxiety into overdrive! Consider cutting down on caffeine to see if it makes a difference in your anxiety levels. You can still enjoy a cup of coffee or tea when you wake up to start your day, but taking a break from caffeine may help lower your anxiety.
Make Time for Exercise
Exercise is not the cure for anxiety, but working out can definitely help you feel calmer! Working out releases endorphins in your body – these chemicals actually make you happier. It’s a natural way to improve your mental health and brighten up a bad day.
If you don’t have a lot of space to work out at home, you can go running outside. Even taking a walk around your neighborhood can have a positive effect!
Get Lost in a Story
Maybe you wish you could just escape for a little while. But with so many places still closed to travel, going on vacation is probably not feasible right now. Instead, you can escape from the troubles of the world for a while by picking up a good book.
Losing yourself in an engaging novel can take your mind off of the pandemic for an hour or two.
Channel Your Creative Energy
Sometimes, expressing yourself can help you process your anxiety. For you, this could mean writing in a journal. Maybe you can break out a sketchbook and draw to clear your mind. Or maybe you enjoy painting, songwriting, or another art form.
Let your imagination run wild and see where your creations take you! You may find that when you have a creative outlet, it’s easier to let go of your anxiety. You can turn your anxiety into art. Just allow yourself the freedom of expression and remember that there are no rules to creativity.
Has the COVID-19 exacerbated your anxiety? If you were struggling with anxiety before the pandemic and have felt your symptoms getting worse, therapy can help. Reach out to us today to discuss your options for scheduling your first session.