Have you been feeling more anxious over the past few weeks? It’s safe to say the majority of us are right there with you. There is new information daily about the coronavirus, the timeline for social distancing was extended earlier this week, and many of us are missing our daily routines. To offer a respite of calm to you, we thought we would share 10 ways we’re combatting our anxiety in order to weather the storm for the long haul.
1. Practice Deep Breathing
On Tuesday, first grade teacher Mrs. Lamb shared two great breathing exercises. The first involves inhaling for five counts and exhaling for five counts. The second is called Smelling the Cake and Blowing Out the Candles. Envision a birthday cake and breathe in as though you are smelling it (five counts works well). Then, exhale as though you are blowing out the candles (five counts works well here too). Repeat as needed!
2. Create a Routine
Many of us crave routine, and keeping one in place is a great way to create continuity in your day even if you’re spending the majority of your time at home. In fact, keeping your morning routine in place can work wonders to keep your mind in a positive place. We find one of the keys is to make sure to get dressed daily. Then, be mindful of meal times, and don’t be afraid to work in different rooms in your house if you’re working from home. Keeping your kids on a schedule they know can help to guide them too.
3. Limit News Intake
We find we feel more anxious the more we watch and read the news, so it can be helpful to limit how much information you’re able to absorb. Think about checking for the latest updates in the morning and perhaps once more later in the day rather than receiving information all day long. Sometimes the most helpful thing to do, mentally, is to take a step back.
4. Take a Walk
One of the best ways to keep your anxiety in check is through movement and exercise. It helps because it offers a change of pace and scenery, plus a walk offers the opportunity for a further distraction. Turn on an audiobook, listen to music, or catch up on a podcast! A walk doesn’t have to only occur one time each day either – multiple walks have benefits.
5. Get Cozy
Although stores may be closed for the foreseeable future, there are plenty of great deals to enjoy online. LOFT has great sweatpants and joggers, Carter’s and OshKosh B’gosh have colorful and fun layers for kids, and Old Navy and Gap have athleisure pieces that are on par with more expensive brands at bargain prices. Plus, you can also stock up on essential oils and beauty products to have an at-home spa day, and there are weighted blankets you can purchase online.
6. Enjoy Screen Time
Sign up for a new Hulu membership and get lost in a new series (we’ve heard “Little Fires Everywhere” is excellent!), make progress on your “must watch” movie list with help from FandangoNOW, and more. TV and movies have the great ability to transport us to other places, and that’s definitely necessary right now.
7. Create a Playlist
Like TV and movies, music offers a great source of distraction. Create a playlist of uplifting songs or even those known to calm you down on your go-to site for streaming music. We’ve seen more than a few playlists titled “Quarantunes”, and we think the name is great! You might find your playlist is one you turn to during other moments that are known to cause stress even after our current climate shifts.
A great conversation with a friend can make you feel so much better, so don’t be a stranger to friends and family! Schedule Zoom calls, Facetime, or simply talk on the phone. Everyone feels very similarly during these times, and it’s helpful to hear about someone else’s day to keep that in perspective.
9. Pursue a New Hobby
If there’s a hobby you have been wanting to try and you can easily pursue it from home, now is a great time to start! There is not a need to become an expert over the next few days and weeks, but jumping in is the very first step. Maybe you want to learn how to bake or cook; perhaps sewing or learning how to play the guitar are on your agenda; maybe taking up running or cycling have been on your list. Whatever you’ve been considering, give it a try!
10. Look to the Future
Even though we’re uncertain when our social distancing and unsettling newsfeeds will officially come to an end, all sources are pointing to the fact that this, too, shall pass. Remind yourself of that fact often. Consider making loose plans with friends and family to have dinner, meet for ice cream, or go to the beach once we’re able to gather again. Sometimes simply having a date (that can be altered!) on the calendar helps because it means you’re looking ahead.
What are some of the best ways you have found to stay calm? Chime in on Facebook and join us later today as we go LIVE on our page for a yoga class!