During these times, you can find yourself on edge, tense and nervous about the future. However, we all have internal and social resources to get through this challenging time. Moreover, the human soul can be astonishingly kind and generous, so even with social distancing, we can feel the support from one another!
With increasing concern about the coronavirus, we have seen and will continue to see a variety of responses. While each one of us is experiencing anxiety differently, the common thread is “How to keep our family safe?”
Few of them might get stress during this scary time and it may get a bit better with time as you adjust to your “new normal”.
Here are a few ways which can help you to manage anxiety and other difficult feelings:
1. Separate concerns into productive and unproductive actions.
We agree we all are worried about stocking up on essentials and food, refilling medications and so on.
But it is equally important to prepare mentally. Rather you can stock up on your favourite reading materials and calming scents like lavender; make time to socialize through phone, video calls, online gaming and in your downtime engage in a hobby or interest you enjoy.
When you find yourself worrying about something you have no control over it is important to let it go completely.
2. Make a visual list of skills
During times like these, you might find your mind is overwhelmed with information and new adjustments, so you forget the things that used to come more naturally to you.
First, make a list of the things you do already and have done to manage stress and remain calm.
Here are some ideas to get you started: therapy, talking to a friend, exercise, prayer, reading, meditation, yoga, creative activities, positive self-talk, cooking, gardening, journaling, deep breathing, listening to music, household projects, spring cleaning, meditation, puzzles/games, playing with your pets and kids, and doing something nice for the community.
3. Challenge your negative thoughts.
Chronic stress is often the result of negative thought patterns. Individuals who focus on and replay negative thoughts find the experience to be unpleasant and in some cases resulting in depression.
Challenging irrational, negative thoughts can allow you to change them by learning how to examine the validity of the negative thoughts and learn how to interpret situations using a different perspective.
4. Limit your exposure to news and information.
It is important to stay up to date with new information but it is just as important to make a deliberate choice to read or watch the news. Refreshing your social media feeds throughout the day, or keeping the news on in the background, is overwhelming your senses and your ability to pay attention to other needs for yourself and your family.
Stick to reliable sources and possibly you can block people temporarily on social media if their reactions are increasing your negativity or anxiety.
5. Practice a mindful activity daily.
Practicing a daily mindful activity places a focus on the now and not the future. This is done by separating feelings from judgments and focusing on things that are true and are occurring now, not what might happen.
6. Let it out.
Research has found that expressing anxious thoughts can help individuals feel as if they are getting those negative thoughts “out of their system” and/or diminish the intensity of their feelings. You can express your thoughts to your partner, friends or any family member, you can keep a journal with you & write down all the thoughts in it. All these will make you feel much calmer from within.
There are always positive things to focus on even during these times. We see a lot of fitness instructors giving online free workouts, a lot of artists taking online workshops and there are little things we can be grateful for as well: like being with our family, a roof over your head, food, a smile or text from a friend.
If you want to take it a step further, you can enrol yourself to a positive, strong WFAN community.