Combatting Anxiety During the Pandemic

Stressed out girl

The stress and unknown of what’s to come has got us all a little anxious. There are many questions that continue to be unanswered and the pandemic is far from over. That’s why we should concentrate on what we can control. Of course, we must continue to take precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 but we also have to take care of ourselves in other ways. Focusing on the present moment and each small contribution we make every day will help relieve stress and teach you how to better manage anxiety.

Here are some easy steps that will help you maintain balance and improve your wellbeing:

clock and coffee

Keep a routine

Go to bed around the same time every day, have set times for your meals, and give yourself specific time windows for uncompleted tasks. It may be difficult at first but some time your body adapts to your new schedule; you become sleepy at your regular bedtime and hungry at mealtime.  Not only will this help with stress management and anxiety during the pandemic but it’s recommended for people wanting to lose a few extra pounds.

setting goals

Define short-term objectives

Make a list of small personal projects you’d like to complete during this time. If you didn’t have time to read before, maybe you have an extra 10 minutes now every now and then to do so. Social gatherings are still limited, so why not pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read. If reading every day seems too ambitious, start by reading once every two or three days.

boy too close to the TV

Limit television and streaming platforms

Yes, there are images of people on the screen but too much TV isn’t a healthy replacement for social interactions and won’t make you feel great. In fact, it could have the opposite effect since many of us need to feel productive to feel balanced. By limiting your screen time, you’ll have more time for cooking, exercise, cleaning, or catching up with loved ones.

woman getting fresh air

Breathe and get some fresh air

There are many breathing techniques that help calm nerves and alleviate anxiety. Breath-control exercises can trigger body relaxation and comfort thus improving mental health over time. The CDC has stated that deep breathing, stretching and meditation are good ways to practice self-care and combat stress. If the house isn’t the ideal place for you to practice these techniques, why not go out into the open air?

woman doing crunches

Do physical and mental exercise

In your daily routine, dedicate a small time window for a walk, jog, or run. Exercise keeps the heart strong and brings up your immunological defenses and reduces stress. Doing things like puzzles or playing a game of chess are excellent ways to reduce risks of cognitive deterioration and act as healthy workouts for the brain. These are also great ways to help reduce your anxiety during the pandemic.

Click here for more tips on physical exercise from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

therapist with patient

Seek medical attention when you need it

If anxiety continues and you aren’t getting relief, maybe it’s time to speak to a counselor or healthcare professional. Elica Health Centers offers behavioral health services and if money is one of your stress factors, please know that thanks to our Sliding Fee Discount Program, low income patients have access to the care that they need.

 

 

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