States around the country are opening up every day. Yes, we miss our friends, and public gatherings; but we’re also really scared, and experiencing levels of anxiety that we’ve never had before. Right now, there is much that we don’t know, such as is there a second wave coming? What about a vaccine for the strands we DO know of? Learning to cope with the unknown is stressful, and creates anxiety within a lot of people.
Educating yourself is the first thing you should do if you feel anxious. Learn what triggers you and avoid it. To do that- record or jog your memory for everything that happens up until the moment you find yourself internally shaking, or however your anxiety manifests. The BIGGEST rule though, is find facts from credible sources only (.gov, .edu and maybe a .com). Learn about COVID-19 from a trusted source like the CDC, your county, or state government websites. This is empowering because you’ll easily cut through noise and get directly to the facts. Outside of these sources, only listen to podcasts, healing music and audio books. This cuts down on the hysteria created to entertain while we are suffering, and will keep you in an uplifted mindset.
Next, take the best care of yourself possible. The truth is, you can only control yourself, so after you’ve taken the time to get educated on best practices, put them to use! Knowing that you’re doing everything you can to keep yourself safe will bring you comfort. Wear a protective face mask when you’re indoors in public, or around crowds of people. Maintain distance from others, keep washing your hands including your wrists and lower arms for at least 20 seconds, and use hand sanitizer while inside and outside of the house. This way, you can remain calm knowing you’re protecting and taking good care of your body.
Lastly, specifically make time to relieve stress; do what brings you peace and relief. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and feel great for the whole day! Go to an open area, national park, or hiking trial and soak in some Vitamin D while you get those endorphins (the feel good hormones, going). Relaxed yoga, meditation (or both), are awesome ways to center yourself and step away from anxiety as you practice mindfulness! The bottom line is do something that makes you happy & relaxed, whether that’s reading a good book, taking a hot bath, giving yourself a mini facial, or working on a puzzle.
We can’t control the future, and that can cause anxiety, but what we can do is practice ways to combat that anxiety by educating ourselves, protecting and taking good care of our body, and making time to relax and relive stress on a regular basis!