COVID-19 has impacted everyone in a plethora of different ways. For many of us, learning how to deal with our anxiety surrounding the pandemic has become of the utmost importance.
When dealing with anxiety, some of us may be new to the game whilst others of us are old hats when it comes to battling these particular demons. We’ve all been impacted by this crisis. We’ve stayed home. We’ve helped facilitate online learning for our children. We’ve socially distanced. We’ve avoided public (and private) gatherings. We’ve worn masks, sanitised ourselves, washed our hands countless times. We’ve helped our children navigate this new, and at times stressful, way of life.
Is it any wonder, then, that we have anxiety surrounding COVID-19?
Tips for Dealing with Anxiety Surrounding the Pandemic
This is a unique time in history. Many of us have found ourselves confronted with a new reality and we’re not quite sure what, if anything, we should be doing. Some of us have embraced this time whilst a significant number of us have felt like we were drowning.
And that’s okay. There is no such thing as ‘normal’ – particularly in a time that’s anything but.
If you’re finding that you need some help dealing with anxiety during this time, here are a few tips that you might find useful.
Reach Out to Those Around You
In terms of mental health, there are some HUGE improvements that can be made if you just. Start. Speaking. It can be hard to get it all out, particularly if you’re struggling to categorise and catalogue your own thoughts because you’re anxious.
Connect with family members and friends. Find your village with an online community. Ask questions – how are others feeling? Help solidify in your mind how YOU are feeling. Ask for advice, ask for support, ask for guidance – just ASK.
Connect With More Help
We are lucky enough to have a wealth of mental health services at the end of the phone or at the click of a mouth. Agencies like Lifeline, Beyond Blue, Blackdog Institute and countless others are available around the clock to offer support. Get it all out – part of dealing with your anxiety often comes in the form of seeking emotional support.
Telehealth and Mental Health Professionals
Going one step further than that, you can access your GP for help when it comes to panic attacks and dealing with anxiety. Your GP will be able to write you a referral to see a psychologist. Depending on where you are, this may take the form of an online consultation or a physical one. You’ll be able to take comfort in a professional, confidential environment and access the support of someone who truly knows what they’re talking about. They’ll provide you with much needed strategies and advice.
Get Out of the House
Even if you’re in lockdown, you’re able to leave the house to get some fresh air.
A walk around the block, a stroll around the neighbourhood, grabbing a takeaway coffee – all of these are important in terms of dealing with anxiety. Being cooped up at home can make all the dark thoughts tumble around in your head like you’re living in a constantly running dryer.
See what good it does you to breathe in some fresh air.
The Importance of Exercise
Building on the previous point, get that body moving! You can do online yoga and pilates at home, ride your bike, go for a jog (or a waddle, depending on your fitness levels). There are so many active things that you can still enjoy whilst maintaining your social distancing practices.
Now’s the time to channel that passion! Scrapbook. Draw. Paint. Build a digital masterpiece. Put your phone down and turn off the news and channel your anxiety into creating something beautiful and productive. The news in the background 24/7 only serves to heighten our anxiety. Engaging in peaceful artistic practice can help ward off your mental health concerns.
Play with Your Kids
Hey, we’re around each other a lot more – why not actually have fun? Build that cubby fort. Play with that LEGO. Immerse yourself in your children and try to see the world through their eyes. Now more than ever the importance of play and engagement are at front of mind so this is a great opportunity to strengthen your bond with your kids.
Take Time for Yourself
A long hot shower or a bath. Really enjoying that cup of tea in the sunshine. Reading a good book. These are all self-care activities that you can partake in that will help when dealing with anxiety.
Write It Down, Baby
Journalling is a great way to channel your negative thoughts and get them OUT. Write down how you’re feeling during these crazy times. Write your lists, write your goals, write your worries – just write! You might even feel technically minded enough to start a blog just like this one!
The Importance of Rest
Lastly, but not of any less importance, is the importance of getting the right amount of rest. You might like to download an app like Calm and use their Sleep Stories to help send you off to dreamland if you’re feeling too anxious to get there on your own.
Dealing with Anxiety in the time of COVID
Got any further tips? We’d love to hear them! What are you doing? Share in the comment section.