Six Tips for Managing Anxiety During COVID-19
For the first time in society, we can contribute to saving the world by staying home and sitting on our couches while binge watching our favorite shows for hours on end. Amongst the handwashing, social distancing, and refraining from touching our faces, I’m sure many of you also have experienced feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. As if we were not dealing with enough with the lifestyle changes and learning to adjust to our new “normal,” we also have to deal with feelings that make facing each day a little more difficult. The good news is that we are all in this together and there are ways to help decrease stress and anxiety.
Here are a few tips and ideas you may want to try if feelings of anxiety are getting the best of you:
- Limit Media and Social Media Exposure: Set a time limit for each day on how long you are going to watch the news or read articles containing information about COVID-19. Pick one or two sources that you feel are reliable and stick to getting information from those sources only. Also limit time on social media platforms to avoid seeing friend’s opinions about the current situation.
- Download the App “Calmer You”: This app is free and can be downloaded from your app store. It provides breathing activities, reflections, and the ability to journal your feelings.
- Listen to Brené Brown’s New Podcast Called “Unlocking Us”: Brené offers wonderful tips on how to manage anxiety and shares her words of wisdom with a sense of humor to help. Her podcast is available for free on podcast apps such as Stitcher.
- Reach Out to Friends and Family: Although it is frowned upon to physically be with friends and family right now, it is important to keep those connections alive by social distancing. Simply “checking in” with your friends or family members each day is a healthy way to discuss feelings with your loved ones whether it’s through text, a phone call, email, FaceTime, or Zoom.
- Coloring or Crafting: Amazon is a wonderful resource for coloring books and craft kits. Try coloring for a few minutes a day to relax or doing a DIY project/ craft you have been wanting to do but did not have the time.
- Positive Affirmations: Start each day by reminding yourself that we will get through this tough time. Try saying your affirmations out loud and start with “I am _____” or “I will _____.” For example, “I am strong and healthy” or “I will be kind to myself.” Affirmations help to reduce anxiety by telling the brain positive statements. Your mind believes what you tell it!
Remember, we will get through this time. We will come out stronger, smarter, more efficient, and maybe even able to handle changes better in the future. For those of you who are significantly struggling through this time, you are not alone and please do not be ashamed to reach out for help.
I have created an acronym with powerful words to replace each letter in COVID:
So take a few deep breaths and do something for yourself today to reduce anxiety. It is not only important to be physically healthy but also important to be mentally and emotionally healthy too!
Caroline Kinna, LMSW, is a therapist at Brook Lane’s Frederick Outpatient Office