If you are struggling with more anxiety than usual during these unprecedented times, take a deep breath, knowing that you are not alone. According to new data from the CDC, anxiety levels across the United States are about three times higher than they were a year ago. Experts link a large part of that surge to the global pandemic COVID-19.
During quarantine and beyond, we became more isolated than ever as we were urged to stay inside and practice social distancing. The isolation mixed with the sense of uncertainty surrounding COVID-10 and even the fear associated with the pandemic and amplified in the media is a lot to bear for anybody. But for people with a history of anxiety and depression, it can be overwhelming.
Responding to the pandemic with anxiety is an entirely normal response. It’s important to know that and that you know these feelings do not make you crazy. Anxiety is essential for human survival. It’s a defense mechanism and increases our stress as a means for us to survive. There are so many things to worry about during these times. From our health, the health of our loved ones, especially our aging parents and grandparents, to our children and their safety and our job security, to name a few.
Here are some simple ways to cope with the stress and anxiety you are experiencing in the wake of the coronavirus:
Take care of yourself. First and foremost, don’t forget to self-care. The simple self-care elements like washing your hands are more important than ever these days, and you may find yourself so concerned about your loved ones during this time that you are neglecting yourself. Carve out time every day, even if it’s just 30 minutes to go for a walk, take a hot bath, drink some tea, listen to your favorite podcast or do anything that will bring you some happiness. Fill your cup before you serve others.
Take care of your body. Yoga is excellent for your body, spirit, and mind and can calm you down when you feel anxious. A walk with the family or friends is a great way to get out of the house, move your body, and have some quality bonding time that you may have been missing out on. Make sure you are eating enough and that you are eating healthy meals. Get enough sleep and avoid excessive alcohol use.
Connect. Make the extra effort for connection during this time. Whether it’s by going to church or viewing it online, volunteering, or planning virtual or socially distanced coffee dates, dinner dates, or family gatherings, do what you can to connect with your loved ones.
Seek professional help.
If you are having a hard time coping with the pandemic, it’s essential to seek help. At Nurturing Hope & Healing Counseling, LLC, we are here for you during these challenging times. We even offer telehealth sessions if you are concerned about coming to the office. Contact us today to schedule a counseling session. We look forward to hearing from you.