Before I dive into this topic and therapeutically type out my thoughts and feelings, please know that I am not a professional or an expert. I am writing from my heart and sharing my own experience. For official information on COVID-19, please visit cdc.gov.
For the last two weeks or so, it’s been surprisingly easy for me to stay calm and embrace the slower pace of life in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, as of about 48 hours ago, staying calm has gotten much, much harder.
Amongst the fear, there have absolutely been moments of immense gratitude – I mean, I get to work from home, hang out with my husband + our dog more than ever, finish Love Is Blind on Netflix (Team Lauren & Cameron !!!), journal more, and bake alllll the healthy treats.
What more could I ask for, right?
Well, as the what-ifs of last week have started to become our reality in the last few days, I’ve been carrying some extra weight with me with every breath … Anxiety, fear, and panic – I see you and I feel you.
I’ve had to look inward and really dig deep to push through this tough time, and I know I’m not alone in this. Also, how will we navigate the inevitable feeling of fear for weeks to come? It’s a time of extreme uncertainty, and that’s hard to work through.
Here’s what I’ve been doing to keep my anxiety levels under control recently, and I hope these are helpful for you, too!
Consume less. And I am not referring to food (I’ve been enjoying all the cookies lately!). While it is extremely important to stay up-to-date on the situation, especially with the CDC’s information regarding sanitization, businesses closing, and social distancing, I find that setting boundaries with media consumption is more important than ever. At times, I’ve noticed myself falling into black holes of conversation around COVID-19 on the news, Twitter, Instagram, etc., and I always come out of those moments with an even bigger knot in my chest. This is my reminder (and yours!) to absorb the necessary information, and then allow yourself to step away.
Remind yourself that this is temporary. While our reality is that the current state of the world may last months … It will be over at some point. Not knowing what is next is a serious trigger for my anxiety, so this hasn’t been easy for by any means. I remind myself, and I say it out loud, that “this is temporary.” Instant relief.
Honor social distancing in your own way(s). More bars and restaurants are closing by the day and group fitness classes aren’t even an option at his point, so this new way of life can get lonely … REAL FAST. Plan FaceTime dates with your friends, or make the most of the alone time to recharge. Remember: literally none of us are alone in this – there are ways to come together.
Embrace the slower pace. To my fellow anxiety-ridden folks, this additional downtime may really be some sort of blessing in disguise. Meditate. Nourish your body. Write. Read. Walk. Laugh. Dance. Cook. Bake. Redecorate. Snuggle. Netflix (and chill). Get creative, and make the most of this time in your home.
There may be setbacks … and that’s okay. Feel your feelings – the good and the bad. Have self-compassion. Give yourself and others grace. We’ll get through this together.
How are you navigating this situation? What are your go-to resources for embracing more time at home? Please do share!
Wishing you all peace,
Please note that I am not a mental health professional. Always seek the advice of your mental health professional or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your condition.