YOUR MENTAL HEALTH: ANXIETY
Updated: May 21, 2020
Let’s talk about the thing that most of us are feeling right now. During this pandemic, I’ve definitely had bouts of anxiety! Why wouldn’t we? We are worried about getting sick, passing the virus onto others, adjusting to quarantine for an uncertain amount of time, taking care of our families, financial stress, not being able to connect with others the way you’re used to, shortages of supplies, etc.
How to identify if we’re anxious
It is absolutely normal to be worried and stressed out during times like these. While worry is a part of anxiety, people with anxiety tend to experience more exaggerated feelings. Some common symptoms include:
Feelings of apprehension or dread
Anticipating the worst and being watchful for signs of danger
Upset stomach, frequent urination or diarrhea
Trouble with concentration, memory, or thinking clearly
Changes in energy and difficulty sleeping.
Feeling tense or jumpy
Restlessness or irritability
Pounding or racing heart and shortness of breath
Sweating, tremors and twitches
Headaches, fatigue and insomnia
There are extreme cases of anxiety, where people may experience a panic attack. This will usually go away once your fears are calmed.
How do I manage my anxiety during the pandemic?
Get someone to be your support buddy. Call, text, or video chat as needed.
Exercise at home. I do yoga, t’ai chi and take walks regularly.
Set boundaries with your phone. By taking conscious control over our time and attention, we decide the appropriate place for technology.
Use a mindfulness or meditation app
Set timer for every hour to get up and stretch or take a walk. I stretch, take my dog for walk, or just go outside. I also use the Pomodoro technique when I’m working.
Create a quarantine routine. I have a schedule I try to keep to every day.
Take deep breaths when you feel stressed. My Apple watch is great for letting me know when I need to take time to breath deeply.
Focus on the things you can control!
If you just can’t seem to keep your anxiety in check, take advantage of the resources from the National Alliance of Mental Illness NAMI.