A few years ago, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. While I have since found helpful ways to manage this disorder, I feel my anxiety inching upwards since the Covid-19 pandemic began. During such uncertain times, I’m betting many of you are feeling stressed and anxious too. While anxiety is a normal reaction to what we are currently experiencing, how can we cope and prevent it from getting worse? I’ve put together some strategies I have put in place to help me manage my own anxiety. I hope you’ll find some relief by practicing some of the same strategies.
- I am aware and accepting of what is happening right now. I am aware of my anxiety and fear and accept them without judgement. I practice self-compassion by telling myself it is ok to feel this way.
- I understand what is still in my control (such as helping others during this tough time and being calm and resilient for my children). I try to let go of things I have no control over.
- I set a limit for myself to listen to or read the news only once daily. I resist the urge to check social media or go down the internet rabbit hole. I stick to reputable sources only.
- I practice self-care. This includes doing what I can to keep my immune system strong, eating as healthy as possible, and daily exercise.
- Social distancing and isolation has been hard on my mental health. Getting out of the house for outdoor daily walks, preferably in nature, has helped tremendously. I see others out and about and feel more connected to my community.
- Social connection is intimately tied to mental health. I continue to keep in touch with friends and family via Facetime, phone calls or texting.
- Being in confined quarters with 4 young children has been challenging. I am implementing a routine to give my/our day some structure.
- I listen to uplifting music or podcasts or watch comedies/comedians on TV.
- I hit the pause button by practicing mindfulness meditation regularly. I give myself a mental time-out by practicing yoga, meditation, journaling, or deep belly breathing.
- I take it day by day. Those of us with anxiety know how important it is to live in the present moment instead of worrying about all the things that can go wrong. I tell myself that right now, I am fine. And that is all that matters at this moment.
Please consider getting professional help if you find your mood has changed significantly or you are having trouble functioning. Are your finding yourself feeling hopeless or helpless? Are you very irritable, angry, or experiencing insomnia or panic attacks? These are signs you are having trouble coping with your stress and anxiety on your own.
You are welcome to contact me for online or telephone counselling at a reduced rate. I am currently a Psychotherapy Intern at www.ellisnicolson.com. Book online or message me for more info. Please take care of your mental health. You don’t have to suffer through this alone.