7 Ways to Combat Your Anxiety During A Pandemic.

It's hard not to ignore the developing news of the pandemic, most certainly when it's now in your country and every bit of normality in our lives has been shifted. I know I'm not alone when I say that coronavirus (or it's professional name, COVID-19) fills me with complete dread. Even people around me are starting to say they are experiencing anxiety for the first time. My own anxiety is triggered intensively right now, I'm not sleeping well and it's hard to ignore the fact that life, as we know it, for now, has changed. 


There's an urge from public health officials to stay indoors, large public gatherings have been cancelled, the theatres, cafes and restaurants are closed and obsessive hand-washing is a mandatory fixture in our lives. Many places in the world are experiencing the same uncertainty and the world is in an uneasy state of lockdown, and being alone with your thoughts is quite distressing for anyone right now. I wanted to use my blog over the next couple of weeks to share some things I'm doing to help me through this situation but also as a place you can escape to during this time. First things first though, grab a cuppa, take a deep breath and let's chat about ways to combat your anxiety during a pandemic. 

*PSA: I'm not an expert in anxiety by all means, but I hope my tips will offer some support. 

First things first, know that it's ok to be anxious about what's happening. Second thing, you are not alone. 
The world is a pretty overwhelming place to live in right now and the developing news definitely makes it hard not to ignore it. It's really important to recognise what it is when it happens. Don't ignore it and let it build up over time and then consume everything, simply note the anxiety as soon as it arrives and take a few breaths. We're all dealing with something that is changing everyday life as we know it and it's on the brain, constantly. 

It's hard not to budge out the news but the more you chat about how it makes you feel with your loved ones, the more you'll quickly realise that actually, everyone is probably feeling anxious too. Notice this and help one another to understand what it is about the pandemic that in fact gets your heart racing. 

Don't allow yourself to over-consume the media.
This one is tricky, coming from someone who definitely looks at their phone for the latest update on the situation FAR TOO MUCH! There's so much noise right now huh? Be mindful that the more you allow yourself to consume, the bigger space it will take in your conscious mind. I've begun blocking the #coronavirus, #covid19uk and hashtags alike in favour of a timeline which is far quieter, but full of happier things. It's absolutely everywhere so giving yourself the opportunity where/as you can on the platforms you access is really important. 

It's important to stay connected to what's happening but there's definitely a more manageable way of doing this. Allow yourself a more structured time in your day when you'll sit and listen to the latest update on a trusted media source, allow yourself an hour to digest the news and then allow yourself to discuss it with the people around you. 


Isolation sounds scary huh? Why not plan some lovely things to pass your time.
The idea of staying indoors for weeks on end can be a daunting situation. I know that having a routine in place really benefits my anxiety but I know right now that's been thrown out of the window by the pandemic. Being away from your loved ones is difficult, we're all probably spending Mother's Day apart from our family for the first time ever but it isn't forever. I am a key worker so I'll be working through the next few weeks but I have already begun creating a list of the things I'd like to do when I am social distancing at home/isolating. There's nothing we can do about being on lockdown then make it a time to do some really nice things. 

I'm going to be putting my energy into getting the garden decorated and looking lovely for the summer nights, reading more, diving into two online courses (including a BSL one that I'm really excited to start at some point), getting my photo albums finally filled and watching all of the TV series' I never usually have time to enjoy. 

Now is the time to learn new things and enjoy living in the now. 

Sophie Cliff's 50 joyful things you can do at home blog post has some fantastic ideas for you! 



Don't forget that you can still exercise and enjoy the outdoors in some capacity. 
Social distancing is quite vital in the battle to flatten the coronavirus curve but there are definitely ways that you can still enjoy the outdoors without putting yourself at risk. If you have a garden (and the weather is on your side), sit outdoors and take a book with you. Now would be a fantastic time to join loads of yoga instructors who are providing their classes online and begin your practice or do a at-home workout. If you can, get outdoors and enjoy a walk/cycle/run. Remember to acknowledge social distancing whilst doing this. I know getting outdoors will really benefit my anxiety during this time. 

Remember to stay connected. 
Because society has changed, it doesn't mean you can't stay connected. It's probably just as important now to stay connected than ever. Schedule in time during the week to catch up with your friends and family over a video call but we don't need to stop there.

  • Houseparty is a fantastic app (available on Android and Apple) where you can connect with your friends and play games. 
  • Bongo Bingo is doing live shows from Twitch, you can feel like you are out with your pals from the comfort of your sofa (just don't forget the alcohol! still important!) 
  • Netflix Party is a new way of watching Netflix with your friends online. 
Disney+ is on its way!
I can't wait for the impending hours I'm going to spend enjoying Disney+ when it launches on 24 March, woohoo!

Finally, 
Although things are incredibly scary right now, they will pass too. Please remember to social distant yourself, self isolate if you have any symptoms arise, work and stay at home as much as you can. But most importantly, wash your hands you detty pig! :P 


Comments

  1. A great and very uplifting post Emmie! I'm definitely going to try and focus on the good things eg how much cleaning I can do at home etc! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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