12 tips to keep calm and carry on amid Covid-19 induced anxiety
As the world is gripped with the Covid-19 outbreak, and the number of active cases and fatalities rise across the globe, it might be hard to keep calm and carry on. Especially when to avoid the pandemic spreading further, we are all on lockdown under state orders and the room to carry on is confined to the perimeters of our homes.
However, as the saying goes, “Tough times don’t last; tough people do.” While you may feel far from it, there are a few tricks that will help you keep mentally resilient and emotionally strong to weather the storm.
Keep to a routine
Many of us have made the shift t working from home – a concept still fairly new to most of us – in the last two weeks. Some have been put on furlough until companies can get the funding to cover employee salaries. It is easy to forget your routine when you are not racing against time to get ready in the morning and get into the office on time. Easier still, if you have lost your job or on furlough.
The worst thing you can do is forget your daily routine. Whether you’re going to work or not, or your commute is from your bedroom to the kitchen table, wake up early and plan your day. A daily routine will help maintain a sense of normality amid the madness.
Get enough sleep
This impromptu lockdown may be the perfect excuse to binge-watch Netflix and chill but avoid the temptation. There is plenty in the news to lose sleep over so the best way to maintain your emotional wellbeing is making sure you get at least seven hours sleep every night.
Live in the present
In times of uncertainty, the best way to deal with creeping anxiety is to stay in the present moment. Try to find joy in the mundane as we shuffle daily from one room into the other with very little outside contact and no socialisation.
Plan for the future
Also use this opportunity to think about your plans for the future. Where do you want to travel once the lockdown is over. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do or a skill you’ve always wanted to learn? This could be your window of opportunity.
In the UK, we are lucky that we still get to go out for one form of exercise every day. As much as you may not feel like it some days, it is important that you get some fresh air. Fresh air and exercise mean endorphins and endorphins mean happiness.
If you really don’t fancy a walk around the block, at least walk around in your garden or step out on to your balcony to get some fresh air and much needed Vitamin D. If you’re still not keen to step out, why not work out with online videos like the daily live videos from the nation’s new PE teacher Joe Wicks and workout apps to keep moving?
Take up a hobby
Long days stuck indoors can lead to boredom and restlessness. The best way to tackle this is to take up a new hobby. Always wanted to learn Italian? Keen to crochet? No time like right now when there are – literally – no outside distractions.
Bond with your family
Spending every waking hour in front of the TV or having your eyes glued to your smartphone might be the norm in every household, but why not take a break to reconnect with the family? You can play board games, or use the time to plan ahead where everyone gets a say or take your daily exercise together as a family. You could start with putting aside an hour daily where everyone leaves their phones aside, gathers together and does something fun or productive – as a family.
Stay connected to friends
Pubs, restaurants, cinemas are shut. Events cancelled. Even exercise is to be taken with people you live with which means we don’t get to see our friends. Whether you are a social butterfly or not, it is easy to forget that as humans we are social creatures and we thrive on connections. However, out of touch doesn’t have to be out of sight.
Use technology like Zoom or Skype, apps like Houseparty to keep a semblance of social life. People have got creative around the world with virtual pubs and quizzes, at home parties, Netflix watch with friend features. Who knows maybe 2020 will be the year when finally staying in becomes the new cool.
Do the odd jobs
Never got around to KoNMarie your sock drawer? Been meaning to sort out your filing? Stuck at home, now is the perfect time to tackle those jobs you’ve been putting off for so long.
As collectively we are advised to leave the house for essential shopping as infrequently as we can it is a good idea to plan your shopping list. In times of crisis and uncertainty, as we all hunker down, it is natural to want to comfort eat.
Try to shop fruits and vegetables and not to reach out for junk food or high carb snacks so you can reduce the temptation right at the supermarket. At home, every time you find yourself heading for the fridge out of boredom or stress, ask yourself if you are really hungry. Remember, the healthier we eat, the better we feel about ourselves – which goes a long way in times like this. Plus, a good diet will also boost your immunity which is equally essential right now.
Do not binge on news
Watch the news twice a day – morning and evening – so you can keep up-to-date with the news, but avoid the mistake of having the news on a loop in the background all day long. We know what’s going on in the world, we know how serious the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak is; we really don’t need a grim reminder every hour on the hour.
A time of enforced downtime is perfect to take stock of our lives. Use this period to take an inventory of your life, your relationships, your health and anything else you cherish. Discover what’s working and what isn’t, troubleshoot pain points, establish priorities. Even ask yourself, however long it takes, who do you want to be at the other side of this? If the answer is a better you, then you’ve got plenty of time to work on her/him.
What are your coping mechanisms against the Covid-19 anxiety? If you’d like to add your tips, why not leave a comment?
And remember, tough times won’t last; and one day soon Covid-19 will no longer be the scourge of humanity; until then let’s keep on keeping on.