1. Think more short term.
Worrying about the future and how the pandemic will play out may stress you out even more. Take it one week at a time or even one day at a time. Plan out the days you need to run errands a few days in advance, so that you can avoid stores at crowded times. Try to limit the number of things you try to do in a day since the pandemic has lead to longer lines in some stores. Try to keep staying positive despite all of the gloomy predictions in the news.
2. Try out some new hobbies.
Distracting yourself by getting into a hobby you enjoy can really help you escape the gloom and doom for a few hours. Get lost in something like gardening, playing an instrument, or photography. If you’ve been meaning to paint your house, now’s a good time to do it yourself!
3. Take a long hiatus from social media.
Yes, there’s a lot of important things going on in the world, BUT it’s also important to take a break from the constant barrage of disturbing videos, never ending statistics, and long winded arguments on the pandemic, election, and protests. Trust me, deactivating Facebook was the best thing I did for myself last month!
4. Dedicate time to yourself.
Whether it’s a stroll with music, a soak in some pleasantly fragranced bath salts, or a solo bike ride, try to set aside some time for yourself every day. Gather your thoughts and think about all of the things you’re grateful for. If you’re at home with your entire family every day, you may benefit from some time to yourself to reset and decompress.
5. Establish as much “normalcy” as you can.
No, now is not a good time to throw a huge party or plan a trip to Europe. Some things just won’t go back to their pre-pandemic states for quite some time. That doesn’t mean you have to constantly think about things have changed. Establish a new normal routine for yourself. This can help you come to terms with all of the changes and uncertainty that started a few months ago. Maybe consider a weekly socially distanced outing with 1 or 2 friends once a week. I think we can all agree that we have Zoom happy hour fatigue!
6. Understand that being anxious during this time is normal.
I think everyone is experiencing some level of anxiety in varying levels. We are new to pandemics and also not used to the change and uncertainty that it’s brought. You’re not alone in feeling panicked, worried, scared, and anxious. Try to put things in perspective as much as possible. Reach out to friends and family and to see how they’re coping. You may realize you’re actually doing well!
7. Get a lot of sleep.
Getting restful sleep is an important part of battling anxiety. Try to go to bed at the same time every day and give yourself a minimum of 7 hours of sleep if you can. A natural sleep aid such as Melatonin may help you sleep through the night and feel more rested. Avoid stimulants like caffeine or cardio close to bedtime. Make your bed in the morning and turn it down at night. Light a candle or use aromatherapy and spa music to help you wind down.
8. Exercise daily.
Exercise is so important in managing anxiety. It releases endorphins and adrenaline which can give you a mood boost. It’s also good for your heart and lowers the risk of diseases including diabetes. Exercise will definitely help you sleep better. Mostly, it’s really important for overall wellness.
9. Don’t risk it.
If you are stressed out about getting sick or have a fragile family member, avoid parties, crowds, and prolonged close contact with people outside of your household. You may be tempted to get your services in like haircuts, nails, lashes, etc. but ask yourself if it’s really worth it before signing up. If you are someone who stresses out after every potential interaction outside your home, it might be better to skip high risk places like the salon.
10. Avoid alcohol and stick to unprocessed foods.
Early on in the pandemic, people were making lots of quarantinis and indulgent home cooked meals and snacks as a way to cope. I have to admit, I was one of those people. Then I noticed my clothes were tight and I felt tired all the time. Now, I’m back to eating unprocessed foods, fresh veggies, and fruits. I still occasionally indulge but it’s much less often. I’ve also cut way back on the quarantinis and save them for weekends or socially distanced outings with friends.