Contributed by Diamond Sydnor
Experiencing anxiety right now during a pandemic is more common than you may think. That’s right! Calm down! You are not alone. Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an event or an uncertain outcome. Anxiety disorder is the constant experience of anxiety on a heightened level. Anxiety symptoms include irritability, restlessness, sweating, excessive worry, lack of concentration, and unwanted thoughts. More heightened symptoms include nausea, palpitations, trembling, feelings of impending doom and fear. Anxiety affects 40 million people in the U.S. each year.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on the mental health of citizens everywhere. It is completely normal to experience it during this time, especially with the state of the world. Some states and countries are moving into different phases in order to reopen the economy however, the symptoms of anxiety may still linger due to the number of cases steadily increasing while more and more economies are constantly reopening.
If not carefully handled anxiety can cause other severe health issues. Before it gets to that, let’s discuss ways to carefully deal with anxiety during a pandemic:
- Disconnect at some point from the news and social media. Constantly hearing updates can trigger anxiety symptoms.
- For essential travel such as the grocery store, go super early in the morning or later at night to avoid large crowds.
- Talk with trusted family members about how you are feeling
- Eat healthy! Believe it or not the food we eat releases endorphins that make us feel good. If you eat junk, you’ll feel like junk.
- Drinking plenty of water to flush your system of toxins that can cause emotional distress
- Exercise daily to release endorphins that keep you feeling happy. Go for a walk for at least 30 mins a day
- Change the scenery! Being in quarantine can make you feel like you are losing it. Walk outside to the park by your home and spend some time with nature, but please bring a mask and practice social distancing
- Find a hobby! Anxiety is all based on your mind and mindset. Do things you enjoy to keep your focus off of what has you feeling anxious
- Protect yourself and do what makes you comfortable, even if some view it as dramatic! As the economy is reopening in several states more people will be out. If you need to wear gloves, wear gloves. If you need to wear a mask wear a mask, even if you need to wear a mask and a face shield, wear what makes you comfortable
- Lastly, give yourself grace! Everyday will not be a walk in the park, but each day try to conquer something new.
Anxiety can control you or you can control it. Let’s work together to conquer it!
If you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety or a mental illness please seek professional help. This is not medical advice, this is from personal experience.