Living in the midst of a pandemic can induce stress and anxiety in adults and children. It can also worsen stress and anxiety symptoms in people living with depression and other mental health conditions.
Measures put in place to manage the pandemic such as social distancing, isolating increases loneliness especially in people who live alone, while those with families feel pressured to juggle multiple jobs.
Here are signs and symptoms of anxiety:
- You’re mostly tense and feel overwhelmed.
- You have insomnia.
- You have a feeling of dread and fear.
- Highly irritable.
- Easily fatigued.
- Panic attacks especially in crowded places.
How To Manage Your Anxiety
Document Your Days
In order to know your stressors, triggers and accompanying symptoms it’s important to journal what your anxiety experiences. This will also help you in future if you decide to get medical assistance as the information can be used to give the doctor a more accurate view.
Having a journal also helps you to proactively manage your anxiety either by changing your routine, environment or by placing healthy boundaries around your triggers.
An anxiety attack can sometimes feel like a tightening of the neck and the chest muscles. Your breathing becomes faster and shallower. Take time to practice slow breathing. Sitting down and counting to three may help you regulate your breathing.
Protect Yourself From COVID-19
Knowing you have measures put in place to protect you from COVID-19 will help lessen your anxiety. Know where to get treatment, get tests, and other support services for yourself and your family.
Have A Routine
Having a routine sends a message to your brain that you’re in control of your day and your life. It will help you get rid of stress, unpredictability, uncertainty and help you increase your focus and productivity.
Declutter and Define Your Space
Being stuck at home can mean that spaces are undefined. It’s not hard to find yourself eating on the bed, work on the sofa. Try to have designated work, lounging and dining areas to keep your home tidy, predictable and clean.
Decluttering your space is a huge step towards balance for someone struggling with mental health. Here are tips to help you create a productive home office while working from home.
- Find whatever place works best for you.
- Make sure you’re near a power outlet.
- Make sure your office is well lit.
- Add motivating touches.
- No TVs.
- Stay comfortable.
- Banish distractions.
- Organise your desk.
Create new Habits and Hobbies
Having healthy habits and immersing in hobbies will help you calm your mind. Yoga, water colour painting, music, reading books and listening to podcasts are some of the outlets you can use to calm down and kind of stop time.
Yoga with Adrienne is a great Youtube channel that offers tutorials for beginners, and a 10 minutes session a day goes a long way in bringing calmness.
Schedule Time To Be Inaccessible
Focus on what you can control. Staying up to date with all the pandemic updates will fuel your anxiety and helplessness. It’s great to be informed but don’t obsess over the COVID-19 pandemic coverage.
Schedule time to be inaccessible and take time to read a book, paint, go for a walk or engage in calming activities.