Managing Coronavirus Anxiety
From daily news headlines to state and global emergency declarations, we know it’s difficult to avoid feeling the communal anxiety related to COVID-19. We also know that this kind of stress can have negative impacts on our mental and physical health, which can impact our immune systems. With everything going on, in addition to taking the necessary precautions like washing your hands and staying home if you’re feeling sick, we wanted to gently remind you to make time for your mind, body and spirit, and remember to BREATHE.
Here are some tips and resources to help reduce anxiety:
1. Practice Mindfulness
It’s easy to forget to really breathe when we get anxious, worried or stressed. Our breath often becomes shallow, and some of us even hold our breath unknowingly for short periods. When you notice yourself starting to feel overwhelmed, take a moment to focus on your breath, and be sure to fully fill your belly with a few deep breaths in that moment. Here are some breathing exercises we made for you to access anytime you need:
2. Stay Positive
Your immune system is your first line of defense against illness, and one way to boost your immunity is by staying positive. Your mind is POW.ER.FUL! Numerous health studies have shown optimism directly supports immunity. When you find yourself feeling anxious about things that you can’t control, try to focus on some good things that are happening in your life right now.
3. Spend Time with Loved Ones
Social support is extremely helpful during trying times. Tons of research shows that spending time with people you care about makes you happier, but you know that from experience 🙂
More importantly for right now, if you’re working remotely, or if you’ve self-quarantined, it’s important to find ways to stay in touch with loved ones. We know it’s easy to get caught up in the grind, and some days we forget to make those phone calls or FaceTimes, so try setting a calendar reminder to take breaks and connect with friends. Try to avoid talking about COVID-19, talk about random funny things, laugh, or share our new playlists to help lift spirits!
Sleep and rest are SO important to our health. We recommend turning off the news an hour before bed, and allow your body to fully unwind from the day. Getting enough sleep will help your immune system do its job to keep you healthy.
If you have difficulty sleeping, check out this exercise designed to help you fall asleep.
Also, a friendly reminder that blue light is not your friend at bedtime.If you are going to use helpful content on your phone to fall asleep, make sure you have night mode on to lessen the impact on your eyes. If you can guide yourself on this exercise without your phone, even better! Here is the exercise written out below:
- Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds
- HOLD at the top of that inhale for 7 seconds
- Breathe out through your mouth for 8 seconds
- Repeat until you feel yourself start drifting off to sleep
5. Bring Some Mindful Movement to Your Body
As we know, cortisol, the stress hormone, can weaken our immune system. Things like meditation & mindfulness, connecting with loved ones, and rest can all help keep our cortisol levels down. And so can exercising, or moving our bodies! In addition to exercise like running or cycling, try stretching, or taking a short walk outside. Moving is also a great mood enhancer (we all love endorphins!), and is a great way to stay positive as well. If you’re avoiding gyms, go for a run or walk, or try practicing yoga at home with the resources below from lululemon!
6. Limit Your News Intake
Lastly, while it’s extremely important to stay informed and up-to-date, it’s also extremely important to not overwhelm yourself. Do your best to take breaks from all the headlines, and when you do check the news, be sure you are getting information from reputable resources, like The Center for Disease Control (CDC), and The World Health Organization (WHO).
Remember to care of yourself and your loved ones during this stressful time. Self care is such an important antidote to stress, and a great way to stay healthy! From digital resources, to a warm conversation, we are here to support you however we can. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if we can do anything to help during this time.
The Chorus Team