The COVID-19 outbreak in the United States has affected Americans mentally just as much as physically. With enforced social distancing and an early curfew, people were required to consistently remain inside their homes since March. In return, this social isolation caused a nationwide spread of depression and anxiety.
Individuals developed anxiety and depression from spending most of their time indoors, questioning and fearing for the health of themselves and loved ones, and worsened sleeping and eating habits. However, there are ways to reduce this anxiety.
Because COVID-19 was a new unknown chain of coronavirus, medical professionals were still learning of its symptoms. Without a vaccine, this uncertainty made people constantly worry and turn to news channels for more information, causing more and more anxiety. It is important to take time away from social media, television, and other news outlets to focus on your physical and emotional wellbeing. One could spend time with family at home, take up a new hobby, workout, call a friend, or read a book. Participating in engaging activities that you enjoy will not only distract you from the uncertainty of the virus, but will help you grow to become a happier and healthier person.
Another way to reduce coronavirus-induced anxiety is to learn more about therapy– cognitive behavioral therapy, more specifically. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help aid in coping with stress, unhealthy lifestyle changes, emotional issues, and automatic thoughts, which are subconscious thoughts that influence how we view ourselves and manage our emotions; they could either be positive or negative. A cognitive behavioral therapist will understand the source of your stress, and help you approach and solve the problems causing it.
Anxiety can also be diminished with a proper health regimen. Your physical wellbeing can influence your emotions, so some additional ways to improve your mental health would be to eat a well-balanced diet, drink plenty of water, workout and meditate regularly, and regulate your sleep schedule. It would also be wise to reduce alcohol and drug intake. Lounging around the house all day can make it relatively easy to eat snacks all day and binge watch a show on Netflix. However, it is vital to break these lazy habits and make time for your health. Prioritizing self-care is essential, moreso during a time of a global pandemic.
If you are feeling anxious, try relaxing in any way you can. Do some meditation, go for a walk, call a friend, do a workout, or pursue a new hobby to get your mind off of things. Calming your mind will help your focus, creativity, and tenacity, as well as rejuvenate your body. Sitting in that state of worrisome thought will only make your anxiety worse. It is important to be proactive to manage and overcome your concerns.
The pandemic has left people uncertain, confused, and afraid. With limited answers, the U.S. is left to question their health and safety. However, these recommendations will equip you to tackle your anxiety and become more mindful during these difficult times.
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