Written by Lindsay Renee Belair
This strange time of quarantining and social distancing is providing us with too much free time to live inside of our heads. When we spend the majority of the day stuck inside our own mind, it is easy to feel anxious. With all of the fear and uncertainty circulating us recently, learning to maintain and control this anxiety is important for both our physical and mental health. Here are 10 ways to manage anxiety while in quarantine, as we wait for this pandemic to pass.
1. Meditation Apps
Practicing meditation daily is undoubtedly good for your mental health. Luckily, there are many apps that will guide you through meditation to help you master the art. Headspace, Calm and Breethe are a few among the many that offer guided meditations to help improve the quality of your thoughts by focusing on anxiety and happiness. Many of them even offer direction on how to navigate Coronavirus while maintaining your inner wellness. These apps provide the opportunity to change your headspace by thinking empowering thoughts and practicing mindfulness.
Exercise and other physical activity produces endorphins, chemicals in the brain that serve as natural pain killers, that reduces stress and improves the quality of sleep. It only takes about 5 minutes of aerobic exercise to stimulate anti-anxiety effects. Go for a run, take a brisk walk or practice some yoga to take your mind off of current worldwide events.
3. Zoom Calls With Friends
There is nothing better than spending quality time with the people you love most to distract you from unpleasant feelings. Virtual quality time, that is. Pour a glass of your favorite wine, throw on some sweatpants and slippers, and kick back while you catch up with your girlfriends on a Zoom call or a group Facetime. Be present with them, and let out a few bellyaching laughs until you forget why you’re on Zoom in the first place. What pandemic?
4. Read That Book
Pick up the book that you started months ago but never had the time to finish. Sit down with a good read, it will help distract you from the outside world when you can dive into someone else’s story. It may even be nice to start a virtual book club with your girlfriends, it would give you something to look forward to every week and it’ll push you to set aside reading time each day.
5. Limit Checking The News
Make the decision to stop watching the news. The world is full of negativity right now and the news is just a daily reminder of it. Stay in your own little bubble at home and choose to watch something that brings you joy instead.
6. Pick Up an Old Hobby
It’s time to pick up that old hobby you set aside when life got in the way. Picking up an old hobby is like rekindling an old friendship. Dig out that guitar or paint brush again, and keep working at it until you wonder why you ever stopped.
7. Find a New Passion
You have all the time in the world to discover a new passion of yours. The possibilities are endless but here are a few to get you started: Begin thinking of ideas for your own Etsy shop, create your own blog, spend more time cooking or baking, design your own pottery, or dig up some old clothes and start tye-dying again. Devote your time to thinking about something new to try, and then go ahead and do it.
8. Clean Out That Closet, Girl!
Now is the time to finish all of those daunting house projects that have been hanging over your head. Keeping busy with tasks around the house can help to distract you from the outside world.
If you feel yourself getting anxious, write about it. Journaling is a powerful way to cope with your anxiety. By writing everything down, you are releasing your fears and accepting your thoughts and emotions. Writing can help to provide a clear perspective and allows you to step back and separate yourself from your feelings. Don’t let anxiety get the best of you, write it down and let it go.
You have all the time in the world to focus on what truly matters, you. Recently, we are so nervous about the health of those around us, that we forget to take care of ourselves, too. Set time aside each day to pamper yourself – light candles and take a warm bubble bath, practice meditation, paint your nails, do a facial, pray, and remember to always congratulate yourself for handling this quarantine with grace.