Many of us have been riding out the quarantine for weeks now. It’s all too easy to begin to feel stressed out and even panicked about everything that’s going on in the world. If you are feeling like your anxiety is getting worse, here are some practical tips that can help you to cope with anxiety during self isolation.
Get the News from Trusted Sources Only
If you get news bites from Facebook or Twitter, stop right now! If your newsfeed is anything like mine, it’s littered with conspiracy theories from all ends of the spectrum. Many of the sources are questionable at best. Curate a list of trusted news sources on your tablet, phone or desktop. Unfollow people who consistently post distressing, provocative updates. Make it a point to read at least one well thought out article every day so that you can get only the facts without opinions and commentary. Check in once or twice a day at most. Don’t make a habit of checking #coronavirus updates multiple times a day..it will make you crazy!
Create a New “Normal” Routine
It’s essential to have a daily routine. If you have a set time to do certain tasks, it takes away decision fatigue and mental stress from thinking about what you’re going to do next. Create a routine that becomes your new temporary normal. If you can include some activities that are similar to what your routine was prior to isolation, that will help you to feel much more grounded. For example, if when you were working outside the home, you always ate lunch at 1pm, try to do the same thing now. It will feel more familiar, and will help to reduce anxiety.
Focus on What You Can Control
None of us can do anything about what is happening in the world right now, except to focus on keeping our families safe. Instead of worrying about things that you have no control over, just focus on what you CAN control. This could mean setting up a realistic schedule to do homework with your kids, getting some regular exercise in, cooking more healthy meals from scratch, reading or doing other self-care, washing your hands, and so much more. These are positive things that are good for your mental and physical health, and that you have full control over.
Connect With Others
If nothing else, one of the blessings of our current situation is the ease we have in communicating with others (for better or worse!) Many churches and recovery groups are having regular Zoom meetings. Check in with your friends and family often and that will help you to stay grounded.
Work with a Mental Health Professional
If anxiety is turning into panic, then you might need to talk with a mental health professional. These days, are many therapists who are able to work remotely that you can talk to on the phone or online, if you are not able to leave your home and visit their office.
This post is part of the 31 Days of Thriving At Home During Social Distancing & Quarantine series!