There’s no question that life is challenging right now. Many people are experiencing more stress and anxiety like never before. Whether you’re new to feeling anxious or feel your anxiety heightened right now, here are 4 ways to help relieve some anxiety in the midst of the pandemic.
1 – Create a new daily rhythm
Select just a few things you will do at the same time (and specific place) every day. Routine often sounds boring and so we resist it. But rhythm is natural, and what’s more, it’s soothing to your nervous system. Part of our anxiety is because we don’t know what’s going to happen next. We aren’t creatures that do well with uncertainty. So give yourself the gift of certainty, even if it’s a few little things. Self-care activities are great ways to provide a soothing structure to your day at home. Need some ideas? Download 5 Fast Techniques for Reducing Stress here.
2 – Bounce back & forth–in a good way!
If you can, spend a few hours on the computer, then take a few off. Alternate educating the kids with your partner. If you’re a single parent, alternate between hands-on time with your kids vs. setting them up for a self-directed activity. Take meals in a location that’s not your desk. Alternate pleasure and fun with work and chores. Sedentary activities with those that get you moving. Set boundaries for yourself (and others) and honor them.
Then literally bounce. For one full minute, stand in place and bounce up and down. Let your body shake out some excess energy and stress. It sounds silly, but it helps!
3 – Show yourself the same compassion
Not feeling as productive as you’re used to being? More tired or less motivated than usual? It’s understandable. There’s a lot to take in and adjust to right now. Be sure you’re treating yourself as you’d treat your child, friend, or colleague, or employee right now. Recognize you’re doing the best you can under the circumstances, and say it to yourself as many times as you need to:
I am doing my very best, and it’s enough.
4 – Get refreshing, high-quality sleep
Sleep is crucial for a high-functioning immune system. Just one night of short sleep (4-6 hours) is enough to reduce your natural killer cells–yes, the ones responsible for killing off unwanted pathogens–by 70%. Sleep well and you’ll feel better overall, knowing your mind-body system is strong and has the best possible chance of fighting off any infection. Not sleeping well is also an aggravator for anxiousness, even in the best of times. You’re more likely to feel stress and anxiety when you’re not well rested.
Not sleeping well? You might have some lifestyle habits that are unknowingly wrecking your sleep and sapping your energy. Learn more about them here.
I hope this post gave you some ideas about how to relieve anxiety during this pandemic. Have you collected other ideas that have worked for you? If so, please comment and let me know!