If you are finding yourself struggling with stress and anxiety during this Covid-19 pandemic, you are not alone. Rapid change, economic uncertainties, and sifting though the constant influx of information and news regarding Covid-19 is taking its toll on people. So, we have put together some tools for you to help keep the stress and anxiety at bay.
#1: Know when to Turn off the news
Whether it’s through the T.V. or social media, news about Covid-19 is everywhere. Between the alert bar scrolling across the bottom of your television screen or your friends on Facebook sharing the latest clickbait, it can seem hard to escape. Sorting through all of the news to find what is credible and relevant can be overwhelming and not knowing what you can trust can be unnerving. It can be very easy to fall into the habit of perseverating on the news and every detail being released, but this habit can cause a lot of anxiety. When watching or reading news articles do a self-check and watch for signs that that it may be triggering stress or anxiety. If so, turn it off. Social media and T.V. may have been your favorite way to unwind before the pandemic, but it might be time to look for new ways to relax.
To stay updated on Covid-19 we recommend you turn to the WHO, the CDC, or the Florida Department of Health. Everything you need to know regarding COVID-19 can be found on their websites. You can be also be rest assured that our doctors are staying up to date on all of the information regarding Covid-19.
#2: Exercise and Eat well
Moving your body is a great stress reliever. Exercise releases endorphins that improve your mood and can curb stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that just 30 minutes a day can be sufficient to see these benefits. This is important for kids too! Try going outside for a walk, run, or bike ride. Also, many fitness companies are offering free streaming of their exercise programs. Yoga can be very calming and practicing yoga before bed can improve sleep. In fact, exercise in general is known to result in a better sleep, and a good night’s sleep can help reduce stress and anxiety. Being mindful of eating well can also benefit your mood and levels of stress. Eating healthy balanced meals can improve your overall feeling of wellbeing, while over indulging in sugars or alcohol can be disruptive to your mood and sleep. Exercise and eating well are also important for a healthy body and strong immune system. Are you eating your veggies?
#3: Get Some Fresh Air
We have all been staying home for quite some time now and most everyone is getting pretty antsy to get out of their house. Getting out for some sunshine and fresh air can lift your spirits and provide that change of scenery you have been craving. Try getting creative and finding new ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Some ideas might include: dine on your patio, have a picnic with the kids, sit on your front porch and wave to your neighbors as they pass by, do a scavenger hunt, plant a garden, play catch, throw a frisbee, or kick a ball around. Hey, maybe even take a nap under the shade tree in your back yard. Why Not? Have fun with it and soak in some much-needed Vitamin D.
#4: Connect with Your Community
While we might not be able to gather in person with others right now, people have come up with some creative ways to stay connected with their community. Be sure to find a way to get some face time with your friends and family. Video chat, virtual games, and even drive by birthday celebrations are some ways people are connecting. Confiding in a close friend may also be helpful in coping with some of the added stress. Some find it beneficial to join a cause or use a skill or talent they have to help others through this time. If you enjoy writing you could write letters to residents of a local nursing home or an elderly neighbor. If you are a good cook you could drop off a meal to a friend. Kids are decorating their driveways with sidewalk chalk art for neighbors to enjoy. Doing good for others not only spreads joy, but it can lift your own spirit and serve as a good reminder that you are not alone during this time. Even when we have to stay apart, we are still stronger together!
#5: Make time for the things you enjoy
Whether it’s reading a good book, baking homemade cakes, putting together puzzles, playing boards games, or doing home projects be sure to do things that bring you joy. While Covid-19 has brought a lot of new stress to our lives, it has also offered us the opportunity to slow down and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. You might even want to pick back up an old hobby or try your hand at your high school instrument again. The choice if yours. The only objective is that you relax and have fun!
#6: Know when to ask for help
At the end of the day, if you have tried all of these things and you still feel that your stress and anxiety is overwhelming you, we are here for you. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call. If you are dealing with any of the following please contact your doctor right away:
· Excessive crying or irritation
· Excessive worry or sadness
· Loss of interest in activities you have enjoyed in the past
· Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
· Thoughts of self-harm or harming others