The COVID-19 pandemic has changed people’s lives and caused widespread fear and distress. Especially for people with existing mental health conditions, its impact may be more pronounced than others. Adding to the excessive and persistent worries of people with anxiety disorders experience is the fear of contracting the virus and losing their financial stability. Not only for themselves but also their loved ones.
Appointments with mental health professionals are also being held off due to social distancing and staying at home guidelines. People with anxiety and depression now have to resort to telehealth or teletherapy, where they can connect with their therapists through a virtual medium. If you’re trying to cope with your anxiety and depression amidst the ongoing pandemic, there are helpful habits you can do while at home.
Start The Day With Gratitude
The situation the world is in right now can quickly weigh you down. Decide to start your day with gratitude so you will have an improved mood for the entire day. More than what you expect, it can have a significant impact on your mental health.
Although it may be hard, think of something you’re grateful for before stepping out of bed. You can also write gratitude letters to remind yourself of the blessings you have. It can change how your brain functions as you gear towards positive thoughts.
Make A Daily Routine
Due to the pandemic, people with anxiety and depression felt a loss of control in their lives. They can no longer meet their friends regularly, or buy groceries in the way they used to. Establishing routines and schedules can help them regain the consistency they missed.
Children also need a regular schedule to help them feel in control as they are used to the routine in schools. It can help them thrive while performing school activities at home. You can also be more focused on finishing tasks if you have a definite plan. Therefore, a daily routine can give you time for self-care since you can complete your work early.
People with anxiety and depression rely heavily on habits and routines to cope with their intense emotions. It helps them improve their physical, emotional, and mental health, most importantly during stressful times like this.
Distance Yourself From The Media
It’s hard not to worry when news outlets these days are broadcasting the COVID-19 pandemic 24/7. Limiting yourself from the media can prevent you from succumbing to anxiety and catastrophic thoughts. The more fearful and anxious you feel, the more you need to distance from any sort of media.
But yes, you will need to read the news to have updated information on what’s happening to the world. Knowledge is power, after all. You can do this by only reading news from trusted sources. Social media is particularly good at spreading misinformation and lies to gain clicks. Read from websites like the World Health Organization, among others, so that you will perceive health details and less opinionated perspectives.
Keeping yourself busy can drive your mind away from thinking worst-case scenarios. According to Ken Goodman, LCSW, “When your mind tries to bait you into worry, don’t take the bait. If you do, like a fish in a lake, you will be caught. Anxiety will try to bait you with many “what if” questions.” So instead of worrying, attempt to solve your problems by finding creative solutions.
It may be uncomfortable, but try to push yourself one step at a time. Lack of confidence in handling challenges is where the anxiety begins. If you have financial problems, you can ask for help, seek out loans, or search online for ways to earn while being in self-isolation. You can also re-sell your things after cleaning your house.
Stay Healthy And Perform Stress Reduction Activities
Eating healthy and regularly exercising affect your mood and emotion. What you put in your body will determine how you think and feel. Proper nutrition is associated with lower levels of anxiety and stress. As most people say, you are what you eat. It also applies to your mental health, not only to your physical health.
Engage with relaxing practices such as guided meditation or yoga. It can give you the peace of mind you need at times like this. Look for sources online to help you in starting.
Having faith that everything shall pass is not an easy thing to do. But when the world is full of ambiguities, you can’t keep your mind in the dark—staying faithful means being a light for other people who need help. Providing aid to others can give you the happiness and control your mind demands right now. Always remember that you’re not alone in this fight. We’re all in this together.