During the pandemic, we have all been locked down. Family gatherings, weddings, and even funerals have all been restricted. Many have lost their jobs, forcing them to sell their homes, and this has lead to most of us struggling with many feeling anxious and extremely stressed. Humans are social beings, and depriving us of the company of others affects our mental health, making us emotional and miserable. Unfortunately, at the moment this is a reality, so we will look at a few tips for coping to make our lives bearable during this time.
Take Some Time-Out
Do something for yourself, and try to relax Yoga is a good start, or even join a mindfulness group. If you can just go out for coffee (or decaf), it allows you to step back from the problem.
2. Take Deep Breaths
This really helps, all my life I have suffered from anxiety, and this is one thing that has been a great help to me. When you feel anxious inhale and exhale slowly, and you will find your heartbeat going back to normal.
3. Eat Well-Balanced Meals
Have three meals a day, keep them healthy and energy-boosting.
4. Exercise Every Day
Even just a walk is good, and exercise, especially outside, exposes us to sunlight releasing melatonin helps us to sleep better.
5. Limit Alcohol
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can control anxiety by drinking alcohol, it aggravates anxiety and in some cases, it can lead to panic attacks.
6. Stay Involved With Others And Keep Busy.
If you are not working every day stay involved with other people. Do some volunteer work, giving yourself a break from your everyday stress. Being with other people takes our minds off ourselves, and this can be a great help.
7. Accept That You Can’t Control Everything
Try to put your stress in perspective, is it really that bad? If you are working from home during the lockdown, it gives you the time to work on replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Do your best, nothing will ever be perfect, and we can drive ourselves insane striving for perfection. Have you noticed that perfectionists are never really happy in themselves? This can make life very hard for the perfectionist, and if you can change your mindset life will be much easier.
8. Learn What Triggers Your Anxiety
This is really important and if you can identify it, you can work on preventing it, it could be work, school, or family, or even a toxic friend. A good idea is to write a daily diary, and then you will identify a pattern. This may take time, so keep noting anxiety episodes until a trigger is identified.
What To Do Next When Anxiety And Stress Threaten
If you are using exercise to manage your anxiety, try for at least 3-4 hours of intense activity like jogging or power walking 4 times a week. Pick an exercise that you enjoy as you will be doing it for a long time. If you are running download some music and plug your iPod in, the right music will keep you moving.
Consider practicing mindfulness, mindfulness is a type of meditation and involves being fully in the present. Rather than thinking about next week, or being fixated on the past, mindfulness involves being in the present, and this takes practice. If you are going through some difficult times in your life, like now, and experiencing stress and anxiety it is a good time to start mindfulness, as it will reduce stress levels, it does take practice and time. There are some symptoms that indicate that mindfulness can help you, and anxiety is one of them.
In many places, lockdown is lifting and people are trying to return to work, but sadly there are people who won’t return to work, because their workplace has closed due to lack of business, locally most travel agents have gone, and many restaurants and small businesses have closed.
If you can get back to normal, and feel less anxious and stressed, you are one of the lucky ones, so try some of the above tips to keep you less stressed and able to function.