Updated: Jun 30, 2020
What is stress and Anxiety?
Stress is a feeling of being under abnormal pressure. This pressure can come from different aspects of your day-to-day life. Such as an increased workload, a transitional period, an argument you have with your family or new and existing financial worries. You may find that it has a cumulative effect, with each stressor building on top of one another.
Anxiety is our body’s natural response to stress
During these situations you may feel threatened or upset and your body might create a stress and anxious response. This can cause a variety of physical symptoms, change the way you behave, and lead you to experience more intense emotions.
Stress and anxiety affects us in a number of ways, both physically and emotionally and in varying intensities.
If your anxiety is sky high right now, you're not alone. The coronavirus pandemic is affecting our everyday lives in multiple different ways — and things are changing at such a rapid pace that it's impossible to know what to expect next.
Whether your kids are out of school indefinitely, or you're not sure how your small business is going to survive, managing anxiety is key to making the best decisions possible for you and your family.
As we face uncertain times, there is hope and opportunity that it is a time for growth, self-care, to raise your energy, health and vitality, to slow down and embrace uncertainty. There are 2 choices we can all take:
1. REACT - panic, fear- want to control everything- over consume, stockpile like it's the end of the world, each person for themselves or
2. RESPOND - get grounded and ask- what is in my control at this moment in time...? What can I do to raise my health and vitality- rest, eat better, move.
Up my spiritual practices meditate, breathe, take a walk in nature (if you have no symptoms), limit my intake of the news.
This is a time to take stock of what really matters, health, love, connection, community and compassion.
Here are 14 strategies that can help you keep anxiety in check as you deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
1. Create a Routine
Your daily routine might be disrupted in a number of ways. Whether you're working from home, or can't go to the gym, the lack of structure in the face of uncertainty can cause you to feel even more anxious.
Every night, sit down and create a schedule for the following day. Identify what you can do during each hour of the day — including things like exercise, cooking meals, reaching out to friends and family, cleaning the house, and working. Incorporate healthy activities into your day, and try to keep a similar daily routine in the process.
2. Limit the time you spend consuming T.V and media
Don't leave the TV on in the background so you can stay informed, and don't flip through social media randomly. Consuming too much media will keep your anxiety sky high.
Decide when you want to get the latest news — perhaps in the morning and again in the evening. Then, resist the urge to read articles and watch news throughout the rest of the day.
Also be proactive about which news programs you choose to watch as well as who you follow on social media. Look for media that reports on concrete, healthy actions you can take — rather than ones that report on all the things going wrong. This may help you feel better, and it could motivate you to take more positive action.
With so many gyms closed and warnings to practice social distancing, it may be harder to find time and space to work out. But physical activity can greatly reduce anxiety.
And while any type of exercise might help you feel better, some studies have found that strength training is especially effective in reducing anxiety.
If you've got some dumbbells, use them. If not, use your bodyweight or some resistance bands. Doing so can build both your physical and mental muscles.
4. Balance your emotions with logic
It's normal to experience intense feelings right now. And these emotions lead to a lot of unhelpful and even catastrophic thoughts that can fuel your anxiety.
So it's important to balance out emotions with logic. Take a look at the facts. And when you start thinking the world is ending or you can't get through this, remind yourself that pandemics end, economies rebound, and people survive.
5. Look at things in a different perspective
Remind yourself that there's also a chance things will turn out better in the end or that you're going to emerge from this stronger than ever.
The goal of arguing the opposite isn't to convince yourself that everything is perfect or that amazing things are definitely going to happen.
Instead, it's about helping you see that your catastrophic predictions aren't destined to happen. There's a chance that things might go well or turn out better than you're imagining. Develop a more realistic middle-ground outlook, rather than a doom and gloom sort of stance, so you can start to feel better.
6. Stay Connected
Fortunately, our electronic devices allow us to stay easily connected even while we're social distancing. And while video chatting doesn't provide all the same emotional benefits of face-to-face contact, electronic means of communication do allow you to maintain social support.
If you don't have close friends or family members to reach out to during this time, find people you can talk to. Look for forums, social media groups, or others who want to connect. Talking to other people about what you're going through can reduce your anxiety. Just make sure you're talking about strategies that help you feel better and not making catastrophic predictions that fuel your anxiety.
7. Focus on things you can control
The more you focus on things you can't control — like how much the coronavirus is spreading or business closings that will affect your day-to-day life — the more anxious you'll feel.
So focus on things you can control, like steps you can take to keep yourself safe, how you'll spend your time, and how you'll manage your money. Gaining a sense of control over something can help you gain inner peace.
See where you can take back control.
8. Externalize your anxiety
Recognize how it tries to get you to behave in a way that keeps you stuck in a perpetual state of anxiety such easy, resolves externalizing your anxiety so you can recognize how it affects you and how you fight it. Rather than say,
"I'm feeling awful," remind yourself, "Anxiety tries to make me feel awful."
Acknowledge how your anxiety causes you to think things that aren't true like, "Anxiety tries to convince me I can't handle one more thing going wrong!"
Recognize how it tries to get you to behave in a way that keeps you stuck in a perpetual state of anxiety such as busyness,
"Anxiety tries to make me pace in circles rather than get something productive done."
Viewing anxiety as an external force can help you find ways to combat it. You may decide you can best fight anxiety with sleep and exercise. Or you might decide anxiety doesn't like it when you practice yoga. You can even turn it into a game of sorts where you practice different strategies to learn what helps you best fight off the anxiety.
9. Practice focused, deep breathing
Try breathing in for 4 counts and breathing out for 4 counts for at least 5 minutes in total. By focusing on the out your breath more, you’ll slow your heart rate which should help calm you down.
The 4-7-8 technique is also known to help anxiety. Which is breathing in for 4 counts, holding for 6-7 counts and then breathing out for 8 counts.
10. Use aromatherapy
Whether they’re in an oil form, incense, or a candle, scents like lavender, chamomile, and sandalwood can be very soothing.
Aromatherapy is thought to help activate certain receptors in your brain, potentially easing anxiety and stress.
11. Go for a walk or do 15 minutes of yoga
Sometimes, the best way to stop anxious thoughts is to walk away from the situation. Taking some time to focus on your body and not your mind may help relieve your anxiety.
12. Write down your thoughts
Writing down what’s making you anxious gets it out of your head and can make it less daunting.
13. Do a daily or routine meditation
While this takes some practice to do successfully,mindful meditationwhen done regularly, can eventually help you train your brain to dismiss anxious thoughts when they arise.
Try focusing on an object in your house or in your garden, repeating a mantra, closing your eyes, and going to your happy place.
If sitting still and concentrating is difficult, try doing some yoga.
14. Keep your body and mind healthy
Exercising regularly, eating balanced meals, avoid Sugar as it is so harmful to your mental healthand body, Sugar can also weaken your body’s ability to respond to stress, which can trigger your anxiety and prevent you from dealing with the cause of the stress. Sugar can increase your risk of developing depressionas overconsumption of sugar triggers imbalances in certain brain chemicals. These imbalances can lead to depression and may even increase the long-term risk of developing a mental health disorder in some people.
Also make sure you are getting enough sleep, and staying connected to people who care about you are great ways to stave off anxiety symptoms.
If you would like further tips and advice to help with anxiety and stress relief please get in contact with me Kelly Singh to book a free 15 minutes Stress Management Session at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or if you would like help and advice regarding healthy foods, vitamins and supplements to keep your immune system well, please get in contact with Nutritionist and Chef Ravi Singh at email@example.com
Keep Well, Stay Positive and Keep Safe.
From Pure Bliss Holistic Therapies