In these unprecedented times, you can do to few simple things to bring yourself a bit of mental relief.
Acknowledge your anxiety
People deal with anxiety in ways that range from harmless to harmful – from binge-watching TV to comfort eating and alcohol. But the commonality is that these are ways of avoiding dealing with it. Anxiety is a normal evolutionary reaction to a perceived danger or threat. It is a set of feelings, thoughts and emotions, rather than something defining to you or your life. Feelings come and go and they will pass, and that’s what we have to remind ourselves when we are feeling anxious.
If the worry gets overwhelming, put aside a set time for it, say 30 minutes a day. This might seem counterintuitive, but it can actually help reduce worrying. Setting a daily half-hour “worry period” at the same time and place helps to stay in the present moment the rest of the day. During the allotted slot distinguish between worries over which you have little or no control and worries about problems you can influence.
Limiting daily news consumption may be wise. If you’re losing sleep over what’s happening or you’re unable to concentrate on anything other than the risk that someone in your life has, you should probably consider [lowering] your dose of media to once a day.
Reframe the situation
You are not “stuck inside”. No, you are indulging in a long-awaited opportunity to slow down, focus on yourself and your home. Doing one productive thing per day can lead to a more positive attitude. Set your sights on long-avoided tasks, reorganize or create something you’ve always wanted to.
Set quarantine rituals
With all the additional time spent not commuting or getting to places, use it to do something special with new rituals. This could entail a walk first thing in the morning, starting a journal or speaking to a family member every morning on FaceTime. Having something special during this time will help you look forward to each new day.
Exercise is a “classic anxiety reduction strategy”. The Journal of Happiness Studies found that those who exercise just one day a week may experience a happiness boost.
Small acts of altruism
Helping others can give you a sense of purpose and control. Do you have an elderly or sick neighbour you can offer your services to? The idea is to get out of the helpless zone if you can.
For further advice & support contact EAP Assist.