Covid-19 cases have surged in India and we are all under lockdown again. While the phrase “Stay Home, Stay Safe” is a real need for the hour, not being able to meet our friends and family can leave us feeling isolated. This in turn affects our attitude, feelings, and motivation levels. Increased cases of covid anxiety and mental health problems have been reported since the outbreak began. The fear of getting infected, the isolation, and the frustration of not being able to accept the “new normal” make us feel threatened and anxious all the time. While we all hope to get out of this situation very soon, we need a lot of mental strength and energy to deal with this situation. If you are reading this, I want you to believe that you have the strength to surpass this tough time. And if you are struggling, feeling anxious, or overwhelmed then listed below are a few ways in which you can overcome your anxiety and feel better.
Understand and accept your feelings: You need to understand that feeling anxious in this state of unpredictability and panic is normal. Acknowledge what you feel and do not shy away from your thoughts thinking you cannot feel a certain way. Accept your feelings and make sure to let yourself know that there is a silver lining and stay positive. Fighting with yourself to not feel a specific way would only make it worse.
Practice breathing – Deep breathing exercises help a lot when your mind feels stuck making you nervous and worried. Breathing calms you down and decreases stress levels. Fun fact, Inculcating daily breathing habits also increases immunity – which is the need of the hour!
Fix a routine – Whether it’s online classes or working at home, we all seem to be stuck online, surrounded by our smartphones and devices. You can overcome this by adjusting your schedule. Get up on time as you were used to doing when you had to go to classes or work. Shower and ready for the day’s work in the specified work corner at home. This also helps with work-life balance and makes you more productive.
Maintain a journal – Maintain a notebook and journal your feelings and activities of the day. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with emotions, be it sadness or happiness, writing them down will help you vent out your feelings to yourself. This self-talk works wonders in reducing stress and anxiety levels and helping you sleep better.
Exercise and Working out – Exercising each day not only has numerous health benefits but is also essential for our mental wellbeing. Even a short brisk walk for 10 mins increases your mental alertness, energy, and positive mood. Practicing regular physical activities will keep you active be it exercising, yoga, or even taking a walk. This will increase your self-esteem and can reduce stress and anxiety.
Make a Self-care routine– Formulate a self-care routine for yourself, be it skincare, haircare, or even taking a soothing hot water shower. Taking care of yourself helps you relax and makes you feel good about yourself. Self-care makes a difference in your well-being making you feel confident, which in turn drives negative feelings away.
Pursue a hobby and/or a favourite pastime– Picking up a hobby or a favourite pastime be it learning to play an instrument, picking up a new language, dance or fitness classes, gardening, etc can keep you satisfied and busy. Doing things you love would keep anxiety and negative emotions at bay. Spending time with nature like walking on your balcony or garden can lower anxiety and increase emotional well-being.
Talk to family and friends – Talking to the people close to us be it family or friends or even both, helps us feel better instantly. Sharing how you feel, getting tips on what we can do to feel better from the people who know us – what can be better than that. Having people in our life who love and care for us during this hard time is a blessing and we should not shy away from seeking help from them.
Practicing gratitude – Being grateful is a powerful tool to battle anxiety. Start by preparing a list of the things you’re grateful for. Remind yourself that you are here, breathing, have a roof above your head, and food on your plate and these are a few of the many things that you can be grateful for. Feeling thankful for having the adequate resources to battle this pandemic and close ones to share your feelings with, these little things can also be a part of this list. A simple heartfelt thank you can mean a lot to your family and friends too and this way we all can help each other get through this tough time.
Know when you need professional help– If your anxiety is overwhelming, and you are not able to sleep, eat or it’s hindering your normal day-to-day activities – get help. Do not shy away from therapy or seeking help from a mental health professional. Therapy is perfectly normal and it can improve the symptoms of many mental health conditions.