Seven Ways To Combat Stress And Anxiety Over COVID-19

Seven Ways To Combat Stress And Anxiety Over COVID-19

 

Right now everything feels uncertain. Even those who do not normally suffer from anxiety are experiencing it at this time. It’s normal! Daily routines are disrupted, job security is at risk, loved ones are far away or sick, and for those of us who need our days and months planned to feel comfortable, are having to live with the uncertainty of where things will go.

Our mindsets are switching from “living” to “survival”. How can we not feel the burden right now? Well, maybe we can’t completely take away these feelings, but below I’ve put together ways to help lower our stress and anxiety by putting our minds and bodies at ease during this time.

1. Accept Feelings of Stress and Confusion

You are probably wondering how I can “just accept” these feelings. The most effective way to accept your stress and confusion is by talking to friends and family because so many are feeling the same way you are! By hearing their thoughts you can support each other and remember that you are not alone in this. I promise you that by accepting these feelings, you will feel much better than trying to push them away.  Other ways to combat these thoughts and feelings include:

  • Writing it down
  • Crying it out
  • Recognizing negative thoughts
  • Positive self-talk

2. Limit the News

Yes, we want to be informed. But running the news all day long, or consistently looking for updates about the virus is only going to increase your anxiety. It is normal to feel the need to know what is happening. You can even make a rule to inform yourself one or two times a day. However, giving yourself boundaries by limiting news exposure will help your mind focus on other things. Instead, try to:

  • Watch a movie
  • Read a book
  • Play a game
  • Cook a meal
  • Call loved ones

3. Gratitude

Gratitude simply means being grateful for the good things in your life right now. It is proven that gratitude improves our psychological health. By being grateful for the good, you crowd out the bad thoughts and energies around what is happening in the world. Try by writing down one thing you are grateful for each day. You can start by simply using any of the following options:

  • Gratitude journal or app
  • Gratitude board (somewhere you pass each day)
  • Nurture relationships by telling loved ones how grateful you are for them

4. Keep In Touch

Maybe you are at home with family members, or maybe you are home alone during this time. Either way, keeping in communication with those you love is so vital during this time. Many of us may begin to feel anxiety during isolation and time we are apart from our loved ones and since we are living in a time where we are lucky enough to have such advanced technology, we are can keep in touch in so many ways!

  • Video chats
  • Phone calls
  • Online games with friends and family
  • Connecting with people via social media

  5. Self-Care

Perhaps you are finding it difficult to stop and take care of yourself during this time. However, the long-proven benefits of self-care can work wonders during the toughest of times to combat your worries and anxieties. Take a moment to think about what would make you feel good right now. What makes you happy that you can do from the comfort of your home? What gives you that feel-good feeling? Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Taking a bath
  • Cooking
  • A hot cup of tea
  • Yoga
  • Watching feel-good movies

6. Sleep, sleep, sleep

There are studies proving that lack of sleep can make you more prone to infections by decreasing immunity, as well as impair cognitive functions. This leads to irrational thinking, and therefore can, of course, increase feelings of stress and anxiety. It’s not easy to sleep when we are experiencing anxiety, so here are some ways to help get in those restful nights.

  • Stick to a bedtime routine and schedule
  • Avoid heavy meals before bed
  • Light exercise
  • Wind down by limiting electronics in bed
  • Incorporate calming herbs and teas (i.e. lavender)
  • Take a warm bath before bed

7. Nourishing Meals

I am putting this last because all the above are far more important when combating stress and anxiety. All the healthy foods in the world will not help if you are not caring for your mind and body first. As I am sure you have heard time and time again, keeping your body nourished is just going to help foster the feel-good thoughts and feelings. Try a new recipe with your favorite foods, or drink a calming tea. Not only is this healthy for your body, but it will this take your mind off the current state. Below I’ve listed the top immune-supporting foods to use in cooking or as even as a home tea!

  • Citrus foods for Vitamin C
  • Ginger for its antiviral properties
  • Garlic for its anti-inflammatory properties
  • Turmeric for its immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties

Gabrielle Szeliga

Gabrielle is a holistic nutrition student and loves to teach about stress, anxiety gut health, self-care, food as medicine, and more!

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