11 Ways to fend off anxiety in uncertain times

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It’s normal to be anxious in these uncertain times, but too much anxiety can be hard on our bodies and minds. Dr Nancy Osborn, our in-house psychologist, has pulled together this list of techniques that can help you feel better. Everyone’s different, so find the ones that work for you.

  1. It’s important to stay informed, but a brief check of reliable sources (CDC and WHO, for example) once or twice a day is likely sufficient to keep yourself up-to-date on COVID-19.
  2. Stick with a routine of healthy eating, exercising, sleeping and connecting with supportive people. Healthy doses of all of these activities will assist your immune system and will boost you in managing your emotions.
  3. Regular exercise has been shown to help people manage their anxiety.
  4. Connecting with supportive people is particularly important at this time because social isolation is being recommended. Try other ways to safely connect through phone calls, online platforms, FaceTime, etc.
  5. Distraction can be very effective for some people and it can take many forms. Work on those tasks that you never have time for, like organizing closets, deep cleaning, etc. Try your best to find something that you will feel good about accomplishing and then pat yourself on the back.
  6. Other relaxing ways you can distract yourself include listening to music, reading a book, writing, journaling, painting a picture, etc.
  7. Take some time to get outside if you can do this safely. Being in nature has been shown to help us have a more positive mental outlook.
  8. Meditative and/or mindfulness activities can be very helpful. There are countless apps and sites which describe these practices. It can be as simple and sitting down and focusing on your breathing for a few minutes.
  9. Focus on the here and now. Typically, when we are anxious, we are anticipating what may happen in the future. Focus on the fact that things are okay at this moment—you are breathing okay and your heart is pumping.
  10. Do something to help someone else. It may be as simple as checking on a neighbor or giving a donation to an organization that is helping feed others. You can still follow the CDC guidelines but both you and those you are helping will feel better due to your kindness.
  11. Last but not least be kind to yourself. Treat yourself as you would treat your best friend.

 

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