My anxiety is through the roof right now. I have no idea what to do about my child care, my paycheck, my full-time job, my husband’s job, my blog….hell, I barely know what to do in the next minute.
I know I’m not alone. What started out as a far-away virus is now hitting very close to home. And with the influx of media comes panic. I have battled with anxiety and depression for most of my adult life. I am no stranger to having an anxiety attack brought on by my very own racing thoughts, so with all the news being generated by the Coronavirus – COVID 19 I am sent spiraling by the scroll of my Facebook newsfeed.
For those of you who suffer from chronic anxiety, my heart goes out to you. To serve others who may be experiencing situational anxiety due to world conditions, I have some methods that have helped me!
If you are self-quarantining:
GET OUT OF BED and carry on a somewhat normal morning routine. If you workout at the gym, modify it with a home workout. There are lot of great apps available to inspire active lifestyles, as well as home workouts on Youtube. If you go to work outside of the home normally – get showered and dressed for your work. Put on make up – do your hair. Be sure your children understand that your work time is not play time (easier said than done with younger age children, but just try!). Have a designated work space in the home, preferably with a chair and a tabletop.
TAKE BREAKS AND GET OUTSIDE every hour. Vitamin D and fresh air can physically change your body. It’s of utmost importance that we are continuing to recharge our system and our minds to continue on. When I can sit in the sunshine for just a few minutes and take a few deep breaths, I can feel my anxiety level come down.
Have an END time. Just as you leave work at a certain time, close down your work time at home to ensure that family time and self care can begin.
If you have kids at home I have seen a TON of great ideas posted from healthcare professionals and teachers. Simply, type in “Ideas for Kids at Home” in Google and you will be inundated with articles and graphics to help you pass the time in inventive and creative ways.
***HYDRATE! No, not with wine. I can honestly say my first night of said “quarantine” I downed five glasses. I wasn’t going to apologize for this boozefest because I needed to indulge. But one night did not mean I would do this for the rest of the two to four weeks of not knowing what the next day would hold. Do we ever really know what tomorrow will bring? We think we do, but we really don’t.
Back to my thought – HYDRATE. With water! A good rule of thumb is half of your body weight in ounces, but another one is to drink enough water to make sure your urine is a pale yellow. Yeah – I know….it may be TMI, but we are in CRISIS MODE friends. We can talk about pee.
Eat well. Fruits, vegetables, lean protein, healthy carbs…..all things we know we need to be eating, but now it is truly important to fuel our bodies.
REST. Seriously, as anxiety sets in, I find myself having difficulty taking deep breaths so I have taught myself to sit down, back straight, eyes straight ahead. I close my eyes and try to relax my lower body. I hone in one my breathing and try to make it deeper in my belly. When my anxiety is lessening, I know it’s time to rest when my mind is calm. I’m not saying to take a nap, but sitting quietly for a few moments and letting my mind reflect on something that brings me peace is one way I find helps me control my anxiety levels.
Talk with friends and family. Use FaceTime! Skype with the grandparents! Set up a virtual wine night with friends on Zoom! Social distancing doesn’t mean total isolation. We need social interaction to thrive, but we can get it from actually conversing on the phone with each other. Texting and social media are fine, but studies have shown that having chats and laughing with friends actually lowers blood pressure and helps ease anxiety.
SLEEP! We all know the importance of sleep, but in this dire time of information overload, we may tend to be glued to our phones and hand held devices which keeps our minds awake which fuels anxiety and insomnia. TURN OFF THE PHONE. TURN OFF THE NEWS. Talk to your spouse. Hug your kids. Read a fun bedtime story with them. Sing songs from when you were a kid with them. Having that feel-good interaction will soothe you internally to where it’s easier to abate anxiety.
Take your supplements to boost your immune system as much as you can! We can’t fight this particular strain of COVID-19 because it’s a new virus we haven’t been introduced to; however, it is of utmost importance to build our immunity up if we do encounter it.
These are just a few reminders for helping to combat anxiety and for helping us get through the next few weeks together. Look for a lot more posts to come! I love you guys!!!!