Now more than ever, we have less and less activities we normally indulge ourselves in. Events, restaurants, most recreations, etc. are in a complete halt at the moment. And with that, we’re left with our own creativity to fill the extra time. Although we’re all taking advantage of the time off in some way, it sometimes can feel like there are still too many hours in the day…and anxiety has a better chance at taking its toll on us.
Lately, I’ve done myself a huge disservice in allowing anxiety ridden thoughts to take over. Fixating on one negative aspect and allowing it to grow until it’s basically consumed my entire self until I’m able to busy myself again is a vicious cycle I’ve been going through for the past few weeks. Although I don’t believe I have severe anxiety, it is something I am aware of almost 100% of the time, even if in the back of my mind.
So what’s a person to do to get through it on their own?
Although each of us are different, I’ve come up with 5 activities/tips that has helped me through my anxiety during these times of social distancing that may help you through some tough times of your own.
- Reach Out to Family/Friends
Easier said than done I know, especially if your anxiety is social anxiety. However, I’ve found anytime I speak with someone outside of my home I come out of the other side feeling like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. If you don’t have anybody you’re comfortable reaching out to, there’s nothing wrong with finding some help in the digital realm. This doesn’t have to be an actual online counselor either, but something as simple as a chat room with like minded individuals can help. For example, I use My Fitness Pal, an app to help with calorie counting. Every so often I’ll ask a question to the community whenever I’m starting to feel my anxiety kick in and their responses helps me feel connected to the overall community, all without leaving my living room. Reaching out can be whatever you interpret it to be, but bottom line, having some sort of interaction with the outside world has helped tremendously with dealing with my anxiety.
2. Getting Active
Days that I skip workouts I feel a huge difference from when I don’t. Getting active takes a lot of mental focus from me, so I’m really able to use it as an escape when I need it. It doesn’t need to be fancy, disruptive or take up a lot of space. Static moves like squats, punches and lunges are easy workouts that aren’t noisy and are space conscious moves. Don’t feel like doing too much? Light workouts, like stretching and gentle yoga, are awesome and can still give you a sense of euphoria when you’re done. There are so many online workout courses nowadays that you can even do a Youtube search for any type of workout you want to try. I’ve done my fair share of them and I’ve yet to be disappointed by any!
Protip: Pinterest will be your best friend when finding at home workouts. Try searching there for some ideas if you’re not a a fan of video workouts.
I’m no expert, but I do play a select number of PS4 games from time to time. Games allow me to unwind when my anxiety starts to build up. Diverging from my previous advice, I personally like playing games offline and on my own. It’s like going into my own little space with these characters and just enjoying myself. Brain teasing games like crosswords are also fun options that’ll keep your mind focused and away from anxious thoughts. From console to board , games have played a role in providing anxiety relief when I need it. Plus, games and fun are practically synonymous!
4. Learn Something New
Never take learning for granted! With so much time, this is the perfect opportunity to learn something completely new. It can be a language, instrument, skill, etc. There are HUNDREDS of options to choose from. A simple google search will yield videos, podcasts, classes and of course, articles to further your education in whatever field you choose. When learning something without the pressure of grades or fellow classmates you’re now allowed to learn on your own time at your own pace. And learning something you personally chose offers a sense of pride and excitement you don’t get compared to learning something you’re not particularly jazzed about. I personally get really excited when I start embarking on a new skill and it completely obliterates any anxiety I feel. Occupying your mind with learning not only uses your time toward something constructive, but you’re also using your energy toward positivity instead of toward your anxiety.
5. White Noise
This isn’t so much of an activity but an overall tip that I 100% will back up. Having white noise playing can soothe your mind from running amuck and allows for a more calm headspace to better your days. First thing I do, I turn the TV on and get a show going that I can play in the background. Even as I work right now I have the TV on to help me focus. There are some apps and videos online that are strictly white noise that may be more useful for you, but I personally like having an actual show on where I can hear the dialogue between people.
We’re all doing our best navigating the current lockdown. And those of us who suffer from anxiety may have a tougher go at it over others. The best we can do for ourselves is take care mentally, emotionally, and physically when possible. I’ve offered a few of my personal tips that ease my anxiety. However, what works for me may be different for you and I’d love to hear your own tips and tricks on how you deal with your own anxiety. Lets band together and help one another during these trying times in mitigating stressful moments as much as we can. Anxiety doesn’t have to own us during quarantine, and quarantine won’t be forever.