Pandemics Can Be Stressful — 5 Strategies To Manage Your Anxiety

I have been having to give myself daily check-ins to reset.

Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

1- Writing

I’m an insomniac. I’ve always been an insomniac. When I was a kid I would stay up to watch the late and late-late talk shows until very early morning or just lie there and ruminate. Again, I just couldn’t shut it down. So, I started writing late at night when everyone else was sleeping. One, it gave me something to do. Two, it turned into a way to express all the many emotions and thoughts that would run through my mind all day. It became cathartic. I craved it. I even wrote a book. No, it’s not perfect. I’m working on a revision. But, it was fun! Then, I started a blog. Now, I’m working on book two. At this very moment, I’m typing this from my bed.

2- Working out

Working out saved my life during my postpartum depression. It continues to even now with my anxiety. Typically, I prefer running but my treadmill broke, and it’s too humid and hot right now in Charleston. So, I’m currently settling with an elliptical, lightweight training, and YouTube workouts. Do enough that you are sweating too much to worry about anything else. But, the real key is to breathe and focus on your movements.

3- Lose yourself in your hobbies

It is not true that you can have too many hobbies. If it makes you happy and takes your mind off stressful situations then more the merrier. It is even better when you can include family or friends. Whether it is sewing, kayaking, or putting puzzles together, take the time to indulge yourself and lose yourself in your hobbies. Find the time to bring yourself joy.

4- Listen to music

Listening to the music soothes the mind and body and absorbs your attention. It also has “a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.” Classical music normally has the best results, but it depends on the person and your mood. On a particularly moody day, you might find me jumping from classical to pop-rock.

5- Writing

Imagine cozying up on a comfy couch beside a roaring fire with a hot chocolate and a good book. Utter perfection! Just typing this made my heart sing. Don’t get me started on walking into a library or bookstore. Books have a wonderful way of pulling you into exciting and fascinating worlds. According to new research, reading just six minutes has the ability to reduce your stress levels by more than two-thirds.

Final Thoughts

Pandemics are stressful. Fortunately, you can partake in these activities safely during our current challenge. The key is to use these tools to retrain your mind, to remind you to slow down and focus, and to bring you back to doing something you love, which is easy to lose when you are constantly anxious. The strategies above might not be perfect for you, but I encourage you to search for a therapy that works best for you.

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