Are you experiencing COVID-19 anxiety?
As moms, we worry about the health and safety of people we love. We try to be that pillar of strength, but understandably, it can be tough.
** This post is for educational purposes only and not medical advice**
Understanding COVID-19 Anxiety
“What’s going to happen? How are we going to survive this pandemic?”
“Will our lives ever get back to normal? Or would this be our new normal?”
You’ve probably asked these questions like I have. The fact that none of us know what will happen can be frightening.
Acknowledging that feeling of uncertainty is essential for our mental health. Cry if you need to. Pray. Reach out.
You need to let it out.
Sometimes, I find it hard to focus on things. I try to escape watching Kdramas on Netflix. But facing things head on is more effective.
Managing COVID-19 Anxiety
Once you’ve recognized how you’re feeling, here are some ways that can help you cope.
Have a routine you can follow
While your routine may have completely changed because of the community quarantine, you need to have at least a structure of activities – morning, afternoon, and evening.
Well, it gives your mind a target instead of constantly worrying about what ifs or what’s next.
Here are some ideas for you:
Get some morning sun from your veranda, balcony, or garden. Sunlight is good to lift your mood and balance your brain chemicals. Also, sunlight can help you get good sleep.
Since the community quarantine began, we go to our rooftop on weekdays. My daughter would ride her bike while I do my 10-minute dance workouts from Fitness Marshall on Youtube. My husband would jog around or rest in our hammock.
Next, have some activities and chores set. You don’t have to be strict with the time, but it’s good to have an idea.
For example, you can have a particular chore for the day, like laundry or folding for Saturday.
For me, my daughter and I deep clean our downstairs toilet on Saturdays. She looks forward to it. On Sundays, we have arts and crafts.
If you have kids, put some time in the morning to teach them. I made a post about some free homeschooling resources and tips you could use.
Once you’ve noticed that you can focus more, you could even learn something new. Maybe you’ve been putting off learning a new language or new skills to work at home.
Put in some time in your day to take lessons or courses. Did you know that mild anxiety is actually optimal for learning?
Practice some TLC on yourself
Self-care is not selfish. Be kind to yourself. Pray, meditate, sing, and dance. Get those happy chemicals up!
Whether it’s washing your face or carving some quiet time for yourself, do it. Continue with your skincare regimen or put makeup even at home.
If it makes you feel good about yourself, do it.
You can also add activities you like doing. But I’d recommend going for those that involve your hands. It’s been proven that when your hands are busy, your mind worries less. Same goes for COVID-19 anxiety.
So, cook, crochet, bake or even do some gardening if you like. I’m planning to start a veggie garden soon.
Find ways to help—it can help you
One of the ways you could help yourself is to help other people. Research has proven that lending a hand can actually reduce stress.
My cousin, who’s a fashion designer, started making PPE from waterproof Teflon. I also have a friend who crocheted ear savers. I plan to crochet some soon too.
Some bakers I know shared their talent and made goodies for our front liners.
I’ve been sharing FREE resources for moms who want to work from home on my Facebook page.
Now, if you wish to donate in cash, please contact brandbuzz_helps on Instagram. To date, we have raised more than 1M to help our frontliners and families by giving food, essential supplies like personal protective equipment (PPE), alcohol, aerosol boxes, and many more.
What can you share – your talent, time, or resources? How would you like to help?
My parents and siblings are all abroad, so I make it a point to video-call them every few days. I also talk to my friends once a week.
You could also schedule virtual meetups with friends to cook, read, workout, or just chat. Moreover, I have rounded up some awesome Facebook communities you could join.
List things to be grateful about
Yes, count your blessings literally. One Harvard study has proven that it can make you happier if you list at least five (5) things. You can write in a notebook before going to bed, include it in your evening prayer, or use an app like Gratitude to make notes.
This trains your mind to look for the good every day.
Practice some distancing online
While it’s great to stay informed, you need to limit watching the COVID-related news if it becomes overwhelming. Check only reliable health and news websites.
If you have Facebook friends who keep posting fake news or updates all the time, snooze their posts if they make you feel upset.
Practice social distancing offline and some social media distancing as needed.
Take a break and breathe
If you’re suddenly feeling restless and flustered about everything, do some deep breathing exercises.
Put your hands on your tummy. Watch it rise as you inhale slowly and go down as you exhale. Do this for about 5 minutes.
Sometimes, when you force yourself to do too much, it can also be stressful. Use small pockets of time during the day to take breaks. If it’s not an emergency, it can wait. And let go of perfection if you could.
When to seek help
If you find yourself with any of the following, please seek help.
- You’re not feeling like yourself
- You’re often pacing or having panic attacks
- You find it hard to sleep, eat, or do anything really
- You’re having disturbing thoughts or preoccupied with having COVID-19
- You’ve experienced loss and finding it hard to cope
Here’s a list of centers throughout the country you could contact:
How are you, really?
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