I hope everyone is healthy and still staying safe while we all tackle Coronavirus. If you’re experiencing pandemic anxiety, you’re not alone.
As we all sit at home, baking everything there is to bake, repairing everything that needs to be repaired, and playing every Zoom quiz possible – we are almost two months into social distancing, so it can be anxiety-inducing to not know when things might change.
There is a felt lack of control that will make anyone anxious. Especially as the majority of our freedom has been taken away (and rightfully so). When you try to push for control in other aspects of your life, this is when anxiety can kick in and make things even more difficult.
Pandemic anxiety – what can you do?
Anxiety can pop up for various reasons at the moment. The obvious one is the coronavirus in general and the many unanswered questions hovering over it.
This is especially difficult because there isn’t much that can be done. Worrying about coronavirus should be seen as a good thing first because it means you are taking it seriously and looking after yourself and others.
What you should not focus on however, is checking the news constantly for updates or hoping you will wake up one morning and things will be back to normal.
It’s best to set yourself boundaries to keep your mental health in check. You can do this by limiting how many times you check the news for example, or offer to help your neighbours in whatever way you can.
Keeping yourself occupied is a great way to rid your anxiety about this pandemic.
It’s an understatement that life has changed for all of us these past few months. Not only can this be stressful but frustrating and I’ll bet anger-inducing too.
Angry because you don’t know where to put all of your built-up recycling, or simply yet, angry because you just want to be able to pop out for a pint.
What I talk about time and time again is addressing these feelings. And this is what I want to bring your focus to now. All of these feelings are fine to have, so long as you use them.
What I mean by this is listening to what your feelings are telling you, acknowledging them, and then working out how you can quell them. And you can for every single one, even during self-isolation. If you don’t address them, they will just build up into anxiety, which is harder to deal with.
If you are angry about not being able to pop out whenever you like, reassess how often you are using your one exercise outing a day. Take up walks or runs and make it a regular occurrence. We have been given the choice of exercise out each day because this is vital for our mental health too.
This is where adaptation comes in. Assessing what you want or miss and then taking the tools you have presently to help quel those negative feelings.
By adapting to life in self-isolation, you can give yourself a fresh perspective on what can make you happy and what is important to you.
You can, not only learn from your emotions, but also use them and use this time to find a new way to relate to yourself during this pandemic and also outside of it.