When there’s a breaking news story, it’s hard to get away from it. You’ll get multiple alerts on your smartphone and mobile devices, see it on TV and hear everyone talking about it at home or work. It may also be all over social media, leaving you with little escape to think about anything else.
This has proven especially true when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. At first, it may have seemed like a problem for someone else, but the highly contagious virus quickly became an at-home issue. If you’re in one of the high-risk groups of people or know loved ones who are, it’s easy to get caught up in the constant news stream and worry all day long.
Give your mind and body a break by trying these six ways to stay calm. Do something new to feel your anxiety take a backseat so you can still enjoy life and make smart choices at the same time.
1. Stay at Home
You might feel like you should get out and help people in your community, which is a good thing to do. However, contagious diseases spread faster when people travel and hang out in crowded areas. The best thing you can do is stay safe at home and keep calm in your living space. Relax on your couch, take a nap or practice yoga on your porch. The longer you’re at home, the less you’ll help the disease potentially spread in your community.
2. Take Electronic Breaks
A few months ago, it would have been hard to learn how to prevent coronavirus by watching the daily news. Aside from the occasional update during international news stories, people weren’t talking about it. Now it’s the only thing on every channel, but that isn’t always a good thing.
About 18% of U.S. adults already suffered from some form of anxiety before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Populations are starting to panic, and one of the most important ways people can ease their anxiety right now is by learning how to take breaks from reading and watching the news. It’s important to stay informed, but if you’re always watching the news, it’s impossible to get away from rising case numbers and death tolls. That’s why it’s smart to get your daily update and then take breaks. Step away from the TV or your phone. Turn off notifications or get off social media. You can stay informed without getting lost in the news every minute of every day.
3. Try Meditative Breathing
When anxiety grips your mind and makes your heart beat faster, you’ll either unknowingly hold your breath or breathe in short, quick bursts. It only makes your heartbeat irregular, so try to practice meditative breathing to get control of your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. Experiment with different types of breathing to find one that works for you. You’ll take control of your anxiety and relax a little easier.
4. Complete Indoor Workouts
It feels good to get moving, but that’s hard to do when you’re stuck inside. When you feel the need to move, complete a few indoor workouts to lower your anxiety. As you do things such as yoga, cardio or low-impact exercises, your body releases endorphins. They make you feel happier and decrease your cortisol levels, which is what makes you feel stressed.
5. Make a Plan
Many people feel more anxious when they experience a lack of control. Coronavirus will require a solution that depends on everyone following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which makes one person’s actions feel almost powerless.
That feeling results in anxiety, which affects the body in many ways that hurt your health. You could feel nauseous, shaky, lightheaded or sweaty. When this happens, make a plan to re-establish control. Plan what you’ll eat for the next week or two. Schedule your time at home or think about how you’ll handle a quarantine situation. It helps to know you’ve prepared for anything, even if you never get sick.
6. Remember Your Self-Care
Self-care is crucial when you want to feel like yourself again and keep a more positive mindset. Little things like cleaning your house, taking a shower and drinking more water will all regulate your anxiety and help you relax at home.
Enjoy One Day at a Time
One of the most important things to remember about coronavirus is that no one knows how long the outbreak will last. Enjoy your life one day at a time. Take care of yourself, work out when and where you can and practice breathing techniques to help you get through this crisis in a healthier state of mind.