As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to mature, the uncertainty makes uneasy feelings arise. Being forced to adapt to a new routine and somehow coping with life’s existing and novel stressors is something we all have in common. The transition to working from home or preparing yourself to replace your income due to shelter-in-place orders can be triggering as well. While there’s plenty of change, making mindful decisions each day can help ease anxiety or depression.
Here are 4 tips for coping through this time.
Take Care of Yourself
- If you are spending increased time at home, a personal daily routine can help decrease stress and anxiety. Scouring the news headlines first thing in the morning can increase these feelings only to be maintained throughout the day. A morning filled with self-care and a positive ritual can help you enter the day with a clear mindset. A little structure is beneficial in reducing stress and anxiety, especially now. Exercise or some sort of movement in this routine can go a long way.
- Keeping up with regular preventative care measures is also a simple way to keep yourself in good health so that your immune system is functioning at its best. Preventative measures are more common sense than you’d expect. The CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend washing your hands, disinfecting commonly used surfaces, and keeping your hands away from your face if unwashed in order to protect your health. For more information from the CDC click here.
- In fearful time(s), our mind’s instinct is to protect us. However, cognitive distortions sometimes trick our minds into having heavily biased thoughts. Currently, the possibility of something bad happening seems imminent however, try acknowledging these worries and then coming back into the present. Adding mindfulness to your daily routine can help this skill become easier and easier. (Click the link to learn more about how to practice mindfulness).
Virtually Connect With Others
- Engaging with others is a crucial aspect of getting through a time of crisis. Although many of us are unable to physically connect with our loved ones, it’s important to remember many are feeling the same anxiety. Reaching out with a phone call or a video call can help normalize your feelings and gain insight as to how others are coping through this time too. Online games are a great alternative to connect with isolation. (Here are a few suggestions on games to play to connect with friends.)
Acquire information from trusted sources.
- In a global pandemic, information is constantly being created and shared. With an increase of sources, credibility can be difficult to determine. Using reliable sources such as CDC, World Health Organization (WHO), and your local public health department to get the most up-to-date information is recommended. For serious concerns, consider speaking with your healthcare provider via telehealth to learn more.
- Limiting exposure to news however can be best for those anxious about COVID-19. Searching for reassurance through the endless news
available on social media may in fact increase your anxiety rather than easing it. Turning off automatic news updates and trusting that important information will find its way to you can help.
Undoubtedly, this time is challenging for most. Getting support from family and friends will help with the adjustment. If your anxiety increases or becomes unmanageable, seeing a therapist can help. The therapists at Pacific CBT are here to help.
Written by: Rudairo Segbeaya, who received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of San Francisco. She is currently working as the Office Manager at Pacific CBT while undertaking a Master’s Degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University.
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