When “Staying Home” Starts To Give You Anxiety.
I’ve always been the kind of girl that needs to stay moving to stay sane.
Because I work for myself & by myself most of the time, it’s very important for me to find ways to incorporate movement & get out of the house at least once a day. Even if it’s just a quick walk around the neighborhood with Osman, the fresh air & blood pumping always clears the fog in my head & helps to keep my anxious feelings at bay, especially when I’ve been stagnant for too long. This is the very reason I start every day with a hard workout. My mental health requires it.
Enter COVID-19 & being advised to stay home, avoid public places… It’s most definitely stirring up a bit of anxiety for me. Every time we turn on the tv, because I feel it’s important to stay current & informed through all of this, we are being bombarded with more scary news. Every time I open my phone & scroll social media, it’s almost impossible not to go down a spiral of stress.
If you’ve followed me for long, you likely know about my struggle with anxiety, my commitment to mental health, & my journey with self healing. I’ve never kept quiet about my family history, my personal trauma, nor my on-again-off-again relationship with therapists & medication. Now, more than ever, I believe that keeping honest tabs on our mental health should be a top priority.
Everyone reacts to stress differently. Fear & anxiety about coronavirus can be overwhelming & cause strong emotions. Taking care of yourself, your friends, & your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger. & if there’s a silver lining to this global pandemic, it’s the strength we’re finding within our sense of community.
So if you’re like me & are finding yourself struggling a little more than usual, here are a few suggested ways to steady yourself. But please remember: always keep in touch with what works best for you!
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy. Peloton is offering their app for free for 90 days & has some great mediation & yoga classes available to stream.
- Get lost in a good book. I’m personally finding self-help & personal development reads to be giving me more anxiety lately, like I’m pressuring myself to fill all my time with productivity… so I’ve given myself permission to stick with strictly fiction, to help me lean into my imagination & escape reality temporarily.
- Perhaps you enjoy cooking & can find comfort in eating familiar foods that you always enjoy. I don’t personally enjoy cooking on the reg, but have found myself giving it a go for something to do with the evening hours & I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying it.
- Schedule regular time to connect with your friends & family, via video chats, phone calls, texting, & email. It really helps to feel the strength of your connections to your friends & loved ones, even though you may not be with them in person. Talk with your people about your concerns & how you’re feeling.
- Test out a new hobby. Order an adult coloring book, paint supplies or a cross stitch pattern. Finding a new outlet for your creativity can be very uplifting.
- Give yourself grace. This one is most important. Now is not the time to beat yourself up over missing the gym or eating ice cream for dinner or not keeping up with a goal.
REMEMBER: We are all on this journey together. We are all trying to figure out this new normal. & we are all facing new fears, concerns & stressors caused by this thing. Be kind to one another, now & always. It’s ok to not be ok!
What are ways that you are working to keep your mental health a top priority? Leave a comment to help our friends below.