Anxiety Relief To Practice During The Lockdown
Generally, anxiety is a normal response to stressful encounters. For example, you might get anxious after changing jobs. Many anxiety cases might reveal that it’s possible to find solace after taking deep breaths or resting for a few minutes. But, some people might have severe anxiety, and the lockdown may make things worse.
Continue reading to know more about this psychological response and how you can find relief from it during the lockdown.
What Causes Anxiety?
An online resource like this page explains the different causes of anxiety. Some of which are:
- Abnormal brain activities
- Traumatic and stressful life events
- Addiction withdrawal side effects
Many people might feel a rush of anxiety when a stressful event occurs. For instance, your heart might skip a beat after seeing your dog tearing through your lovely couch. At this point, a surge of negative emotions might seem to fill every fiber of your being.
However, it’s not just your pooch destroying furniture that may trigger anxiety attacks. Note that various anxiety difficulties exist, such as:
- Agoraphobia: a fear of environments that may cause feelings of being embarrassed, helpless, or trapped
- Generalized anxiety: a persistent (and might be excessive) form of anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): the brain replays recurring memories of traumatic events, causing panic attacks
- Separation anxiety: an anxiety that may develop at an early age wherein parents practice excessive doting
- Substance-induced anxiety: anxiety or panic from misusing harmful substances
What Does Anxiety Feel Like?
Anxiety attacks tend to be quite different for each patient. Some of the anxiety signs you might feel are:
- Restlessness or tension
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid breathing or hyperventilation
- Focus difficulties
Perhaps, one common anxiety symptom experienced by many people is excessive worrying. The fear of not knowing what the future holds may create images in one’s mind, causing overthinking. Moreover, this feeling might happen in spades because of the lockdown.
Note that the COVID-19 has shown the world’s population that human beings are, still, vulnerable to illnesses. At the time of writing, scientists are still trying to develop a vaccine that would protect humanity from this life-threatening virus. However, it might take a long time for these experts to come up with a safe and effective vaccine. Until then, people need to practice social distancing to avoid spreading this virus. Some governments are even taking extreme measures by locking down their respective jurisdictions to help significantly reduce and, hopefully, end the virus’s spread.
Still, being unable to return to a semblance of your normal life before the pandemic may cause overthinking. This uncertainty of what the future holds for the world and this pandemic might make you excessively worry. As such, if you’re seeking relief from anxiety symptoms while in lockdown, here are six ways that may help relieve you of these unwanted feelings:
Change The Way You Think
What’s going to happen to the world? When will governments distribute the vaccine? When can you go back to your life before this pandemic? Perhaps, these are the questions that are constantly in your mind while in lockdown.
The thought of being stuck inside may cause you to feel anxious as, each day, you might keep staring at the same four walls without leaving your abode. Thinking about the lockdown might make it seem like those walls are getting smaller each day. In turn, this event may lead to claustrophobia or panic attacks.
Although the pandemic might be doing more harm than good to the world, try to find the silver lining in this dark cloud. In other words, aim to change the way you think about this lockdown. Instead of thinking about feeling stuck, try to change your focus to the wonders of staying at home. For example, take this time to focus on yourself.
Before, you might be in a constant rush to get out the door as you scurry across busy streets to arrive at the office on time. The ‘office’ might now be a few steps away from your bed. Therefore, those stressful mornings of trying to beat the clock might now be behind you.
Take this chance to slow down and focus on yourself. You may also practice meditation to help you regain focus, particularly if those anxious thoughts seem to flood back in your mind.
Distance Yourself From Social Media
It’s important to know about the events concerning COVID-19 to help reduce its spread. Without media, you might not know the correct protocols to combat the virus.
Although the media can present good information, it can deliver anxiety-inducing news as well. For instance, turning on the TV to watch the news will make you realize that the virus already took the lives of millions of people globally.
Learn to shy away from screens to check the news and other media. Also, consider stopping yourself from browsing social media if you’re extremely fearful about the events happening in the world. As its name implies, social media might be the bearer of bad news since information travels fast across these online platforms.
If you find it challenging to stop or significantly reduce your time browsing social media, consider curating your feeds instead. Filter the things you see on your feeds, which might include funny cat videos or people dancing to famous tunes. However, don’t take this method to the extreme that you shun yourself away from reality. Remember, it’s still important to stay informed about the pandemic’s current state. That way, you’ll know what to do if your local government imposes new rules.
Know That You’re Not Alone
You might be living alone. Perhaps, the lockdown forced you to move away from family and friends, causing you to live in solitude. But, always remember the adage, “No person is an island.” Always remember that someone will always be there to listen to your anxious cries. This individual might be your friend, relative, or therapist.
Even though it might be next to impossible to physically visit these people, you can use technology to help you out in this time of need. Connect to the Internet using smartphones and computers to help you interact with trusted folks.
Perhaps, you might be on the verge of a breakdown from being locked in your home for extended periods. But, contacting your aunt and uncle to see how your nieces and nephews are doing might be that spark of joy that may transform a seemingly dreary moment into a bright day.
However, some individuals may not want to bother their family and friends with their anxiety. Perhaps, the fear of hearing words, like, “It’s all in your head,” inhibits you from picking up the phone to contact those people. If so, you can seek professional help. Many psychiatrists will lend their ears to listen to your worries. You may contact these experts by calling them or through their websites. A quick online search may help you find psychiatrists near your home. The sooner you can contact one, the faster you can find solace from being anxious.
Know That You’re Not Invincible
Humans are imperfect creatures, and that’s okay. Accept that anxiety is an inevitable part of life, regardless if there’s a pandemic or not. It should help that such a feeling is acknowledgeable and manageable. Hence, it’s essential to look at life from a realistic point of view. In other words, it might be okay for you not to be in a million-dollar mansion as long as you’re enjoying your time at home with your dog.
Give yourself credit, knowing that you may now have additional time for yourself. Gone are the days of wasting hours in commute to get to school or work. Now, you can use the extra time to learn new skills or play with the kids.
Try to ask yourself the following questions if the destructive thoughts return:
- What’s wrong?
- Why are the anxious thoughts flooding the mind?
- Are these fears based on reality?
- What evidence will prove that XYZ will happen?
- What could be the best and worst events that can happen?
- What could be a possible backup plan?
Note that life is hard, but you can choose your ‘hard.’ For example, working to pay the rent is hard, but so is not having enough money to keep staying in your abode.
It might be challenging to go through daily life during the lockdown, but it’s not impossible. Remember, it’s okay to feel troubled about certain things. But, accepting those events may help you develop solutions that might improve those tough scenarios.
Additionally, you can find anxiety relief by acknowledging and caring for other people with fears about the pandemic. Many people have hardwired brains to pick up feelings from other individuals. In other words, if you’re worried, then, other folks close to you might also feel anxious. However, you can shift this event into a more positive note. In other words, if you exude feelings of care and compassion, then, other people may pick up on these emotional states. Hence, help your fellow humans in this time of need, and you might find your emphatic personality improve your overall wellbeing.
Stick To A Routine
Many businesses, offices, and schools closed because of the lockdown. Various people have lost their daily routines as their daily lives tend to take place within their properties. The loss of these daily habits may cause the development and aggravation of anxiety symptoms.
According to Deborah Serani, PsyD., the author of Sometimes When I’m Sad and an Adelphi University psychology professor, unstructured time can lead to unhealthy coping patterns. In turn, it may even lead to bouts of anxiety and depression.
Therefore, aim to recover old habits despite being in lockdown. For example, eat, sleep, and wakeup at the same time every day. Also, stick to a strict work schedule; if you start working at the office at 9 AM, start your job at home at the same time.
Maintaining a routine also promotes other benefits. One potential advantage is the reduction of ‘decision fatigue,’ which overflows the mind with thoughts about having several options at once. Combat decision fatigue by creating a ‘To Do’ list. You can write what you need to do every day on paper or use a smartphone app. Additionally, create a strict start and stop schedule for your daily habits. That way, you can still maintain a good work-life balance at home.
Some people believe that it’s impossible to get a good workout during lockdown since local gyms aren’t open. However, several exercises exist to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle at home.
Note that exercising helps the body release endorphins, chemicals that are naturally produced by the brain to help you cope with pain or stress. Also called ‘feel-good’ chemicals, the release of additional endorphins may help you cope with anxiety during the lockdown.
Also, you don’t need any gym equipment to start exercising at home. One example is the mountain climber, and here are the steps to do it:
- Start in a plank position, with your arms extended.
- Lift one leg while trying to meet your knee with your extended arm.
- Return the leg into its original position.
- Do the same motion for the other leg.
- Repeat and speed up as much as possible.
This exercise won’t only help you feel good, but it’s also a compound exercise. It means that multiple muscle groups are working at the same time to offer you a full-body workout. If done efficiently and correctly, mountain climbers can target the arms, core, and quads. Try to repeat the steps 20 times, which would count as one set. Aim to do at least two sets to help develop those targeted muscles.
Aim to stick to a regular exercise routine. This healthy habit may help your body release more endorphins to combat anxiety brought about by the pandemic.
Anxiety is a relatively common feeling felt by many people. But, some cases are more severe than others. Relieve anxiety symptoms during the lockdown through acceptance, empathy, and consistency. Also, consider not checking media channels frequently and stick to a healthy routine to make the most out of this pandemic.