Coping with Anxiety during the pandemic
Anxiety is a familiar companion in our lives. According to research conducted by Spinter this August, one-third of the Lithuanian population is continually experiencing anxiety. Anxiety is a normal state, a protective human reaction to environmental factors. For some of us, it is pervasive as if it lives an independent life on its own. Under its influence, we tend to see potential dangers and catastrophic scenarios at every step.
It becomes a problem when anxiety begins to interfere with our daily lives. As a result, it affects both the mind and the body – it is harder to concentrate, fall asleep and relax; we also feel constant fatigue.
It's normal to experience anxiety from time to time, so it is important not to avoid it, but to learn how to accept it and cope with it. There are strategies you can use to make it more manageable:
Practice Positive Self-talk
Instead of condemning and criticizing yourself, practice self-compassion. Make a list of all the things you are worried about right now. At each point, write an additional motivational sentence from the third person’s point of view. For example, ‘I feel very sorry that you are worried about the health of your loved ones. You take care of them – nothing can happen to them
Exercising is an effective drug with no side effects to deal with anxiety, depression, and attention disorders. It has a positive impact on concentration, memory, and creativity.
Keep balance and help others
Psychologists believe that we feel best when our activities give us pleasure, a sense of accomplishment and closeness. We are social beings who need a sense of community, recognition, and love, so we need social activities that involve other people. For now, don't forget to stay in touch with loved ones via video call or message. You may also want to look for volunteering initiatives you can join online to help strangers.
If you worry a lot, it is essential to remind yourself that your thoughts don't have to focus solely on a problem that can't be solved right now. Therefore, it is crucial to focus on something else. Learning and practicing awareness can help bring you back to the present moment. For example, focusing on your breathing or external sounds helps to stay in the moment and let go of worries.
Enjoy a pleasant activity
When we struggle with anxiety, we may forget about activities that used to give us pleasure. Plan activities every day that will provide you with joy and make you feel good. For example, read a book, turn on a comedy, dance or sing, take a bath, or prepare your favorite dish.
Plan activities that bring the joy of winning
We feel good when we achieve something, so it's rewarding to engage in activities every day that give us the joy of victory. For example, doing housework, decorating a garden, preparing food according to a new recipe, competing with others, or paying an old bill.