3 Tips for Handling Anxiety During a Pandemic
Oct 29, 2020
Have you found yourself feeling anxious more frequently in light of recent events? Maybe your job has changed dramatically as a result of the pandemic. Maybe you're tackling virtual learning with your children. Maybe you can't even quite put your finger on what exactly is causing your anxiety to increase. Regardless of the cause, anxiety does not need to be your "new normal". Try these three tips to keep your anxiety at bay:
1. Drink a Glass of Water
If you find yourself getting caught up in anxious thoughts, take a moment to pour yourself a glass of water. This simple act encourages you to slow down, and it gives you something to focus on other than anxious thoughts. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration can negatively impact your mood. Taking care of your body by staying hydrated is a great first step to improving your mental health.
2. Focus on the "Done," Not the "To Do"
As you get to the end of the day, you may find yourself focusing on all the things that you "should" have gotten done, or stressing about everything you need to do tomorrow. Next time you notice yourself doing this, try to focus on everything you did accomplish that day. This is especially effective if you write down your completed tasks—it is easy to feel like you didn't get much done, but sometimes seeing everything written down on paper can help you to see just how much you've accomplished. These do not need to be huge projects. Did you take a shower? Write that down! Did you eat breakfast? Write that down! Did you respond to that email that you'd been meaning to get to for two weeks? Write that down!
3. Stop Scrolling
Research has shown that excessive smartphone use can be linked to symptoms of anxiety. Many people find it rewarding to check their social media and to stay engaged with various apps, but some people check their phone so compulsively that it becomes stressful. In the age of a global pandemic and social unrest, news outlets have recently begun to highlight the dangers of "doomscrolling". According to Merriam-Webster.com: "Doomscrolling and doomsurfing are new terms referring to the tendency to continue to surf or scroll through bad news, even though that news is saddening, disheartening, or depressing." While it is important to stay informed, be mindful of how much time you spend scrolling through content that increases your anxiety.
Everyone has experienced anxiety at some point in time; it is a perfectly normal response to life's various stressors. If you are finding that your anxiety is interfering with your daily life and preventing you from functioning throughout the day, anxiety counseling can help. If you are looking for anxiety therapy in the Fresno area, contact Jodi Mitchell today.