Its hard to escape conversation and the constant barrage of news about this virus that is everywhere you turn. It can be overwhelming and elicit a lot of fear and worries about getting this virus and the potential of losing someone from it. From my research most people are only impacted mildly from this respiratory virus. The most at risk are the elderly and those with other health conditions. The truth is they are still learning about this virus and trying to figure out the best way to fight it. That being said, allowing yourself to constantly overload yourself with information about this virus can increase anxiety and fears. There has to be some kind of balance between keeping yourself informed and taking precautions and continuing to live your life. What are some ways to help anxiety about this virus?
1. Focus on what you can control. Practicing good hygiene is a good start and regular handwashing for 20 seconds is essential or with 60% hand sanitizer after coughing, sneezing or going to the bathroom. Being in public puts you at risk (for other viruses too) so being vigilant in washing after touching doorknobs, grocery carts or your gym equipment is essential. Using a tissue as a barrier to open public doors and using a pen to push elevator buttons is another good option.
2. Be sure to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep, even one night without good rest can lower your immunity. When you are sleep deprived you this can impact you emotionally as well making you more irritable and lowers your resources to handle stressors making it more likely you will feel anxious.
3. Watch what you are eating, to keep your immunity up its important to increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables so your body is getting all the nutrients it requires to perform at its best. Consider adding more garlic, ginger and citrus to increase your vitamin c intake. Limiting junk food is helpful, be aware that your diet can impact your mood and anxiety level. It’s all connected.
4. Add more movement into your day. Increasing your steps and make it an intentional practice to add more steps. Consider using a fitbit or other tracker so you know how many you are getting and can set goals for yourself. Walking is the easiest and lowest risk exercise you can do on a daily basis. If you can add more cardio as well to further release stress.
5. Practice preventative breathing. This means learning how to breathe deeply (inhale for a count of 4, hold for 4 and exhale for 4, gradually increase exhales to a count of 5) is a good start. Find a time daily to breathe this way (for about 5 minutes) to help prevent stress and not just when you are feeling more anxious.
6. Daily meditation is an excellent way to help anxiety lower and keep you in a calmer state of mind. There are so many options for guided meditations if you aren’t comfortable doing it on your own through the calm app, headspace or consider a youtube video.
There is only so much in your control regarding this virus, keep your focus on what you can do today and let the rest go. Worrying about it is not going to help and can cause you more problems in the long run. Talk to a trusted friend or family member and learn to support one another. If you need more ways to help with your anxiety, reach out today! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a time for a free consultation.