The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of people around the world in several ways and will likely continue to have major effects on public health. As work-from-home becomes a focus of society, working folks are ending up in social situations (or lack thereof) that they may not know how to deal with.
If you are surrounded by negative news and are feeling overwhelmed or stressed, you are not alone. Know that there is help available. If you feel anxious and feel your mental health is going downhill, it’s time to take some concrete steps.
Here are some tips to cope with anxiety during these uncertain times.
Make Time for the Things That Matter
Make family time a priority. There are many health benefits of spending time with family and friends. Individuals who make family time a priority are less prone to mental health problems and more likely to have positive outlooks.
Family friction can lead to stress, which is a common trigger for anxiety. If you get into arguments with a family member frequently, talk through problems together. Make time for your hobbies and the activities you enjoy the most.
Slow-paced music can help control blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, and lower heart rate. Listen to soothing music in your free time. Spend time with your pet. Studies show that interacting with your pet, your body releases endorphins, a feel-good chemical that promotes a positive mood.
Exercise improves physical and mental health and exercising regularly has shown to help combat stress. Participate in activities you enjoy. People who exercise regularly are less likely to feel anxious than those who don’t exercise regularly or don’t exercise at all.
Exercise can improve sleep quality, reduce levels of your body’s stress hormones, and stimulate the production of natural painkillers and mood elevators such as endorphins. Take a yoga class. Do deep breathing exercises and practice mindfulness.
Learn to Say No
You don’t have to make everyone happy. It’s ok to say no sometimes. If you already have too much on your plate and your manager wants to give you additional tasks, let them know you have your hands full.
They do not call laughter the best medicine for no reason. There are many health benefits of laughing. It improves cardiac health, lowers stress hormone levels and blood pressure, and relieves tension. Here are some ways to bring more laughter in your life:
- Make fun and laughter part of your daily routine
- Learn to laugh at yourself
- Get a pet
- Interact with kids
- Watch comedy movies or sitcoms when you’re stressed
The OCD & Anxiety Center team consists of some of the best therapists for anxiety near you. We are committed to patient-centered care. Our therapists go the extra mile to build rapport with their patients. If you are seeking help, call us at (630) 522-3124.