7 Ways To Deal With Anxiety In Lockdown
Anxiety is a general feeling of worry or tension and can be acute (short term) or chronic (long term). Symptoms vary from person to person. Some people experience physical symptoms such as nausea, heart palpitations and dizziness while others have more emotional effects such as irritability, depression and insomnia.
People who struggle with anxiety may feel like their symptoms are getting worse when lockdown happens, so it is important to take steps now before it gets bad. And while medication for anxiety and depression can be powerful and necessary when it’s severe, for people suffering mild anxiety there are other ways to find relief.
Here are 7 ways you can relieve your anxiety during lockdown:
#1. Buy a pet
Buying a pet can be very therapeutic. Pets give unconditional love and can help you develop a sense of routine. Caring for a furry friend can bring so much joy. A new puppy requires time and dedication to train, which can give you a positive focus and a sense of purpose. If training a puppy sounds like too much work for you, or if there are none available to buy, the local pound may have an older dog that needs its “forever home”. It doesn't need to be an expensive "designer dog" that costs thousands of dollars. A mixed breed dog can bring just as much joy to your life as a purebred dog can.
#2. Do exercise
Exercise is a great way to relieve anxiety symptoms. You can go for a jog in the morning before work, take your dog out for a walk or run, or walk or run on the treadmill at home. Exercise increases oxygen flow and releases endorphins that make you feel good! Doing strenuous activity can also relieve the symptoms of anxiety, but make sure you are doing activities that are suitable for your level of fitness if you are just starting out.
#3: Find a hobby that makes you feel calm and happy
Doing a hobby that you enjoy can help soothe anxiety. Whatever your preferred activity is, from scrapbooking to taking photos, reading books, learning a language, gardening or painting. It might make you feel better during lockdown and give you something else to focus on besides what's happening in the news. Which leads us to the next suggestion...
#4. Turn off the news, stop "doom scrolling", and focus on other activities
The news can be a trigger for anxiety and depression because of the constant focus on the pandemic, or other negative events. The media often focuses on "worst case scenarios", so turning off the TV or avoiding reading the newspaper is one way to start feeling better about lockdown life.
Another thing that can trigger anxiety is scrolling through social media and seeing all the negative posts. "Doom scrolling" is when you constantly look at social media or the news to find out the latest negative news. Doom scrolling can feed your anxiety, so it’s best to break the habit by choosing not to scroll through your feed for a while. Each time you feel inclined to jump on social media, do something else instead such as drink a glass of water or meditate… which leads us to the next suggestion.
Meditation is a great way to calm your mind and body. It's also good for anxiety because it reduces stress hormones in the bloodstream, increases serotonin levels in the brain and promotes relaxation through deep breathing techniques.
There are many ways you can meditate but one of my favorites is by using an app called "Calm" which is available for free in the App Store.
It has some great features like a rainforest soundscape to help you calm down and it also offers reminders throughout your day to take a few moments just for yourself. It's an easy way to reset during lockdown!
#6. Eat healthy foods and drink enough water
Eating a healthy diet and drinking enough water can also help relieve the symptoms of anxiety. A lot of people with depression notice they feel better when they eat well, so it's important to make sure you're getting all your nutrients by eating regular meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
No matter how hard it is to cook during lockdown, make time for yourself to prepare a complete meal each day to keep your energy levels up. Some foods that are good options include: oatmeal, eggs, bananas, apples and walnuts.
#7: Talk with friends and family members
Talking with friends and family members is a great way to relieve anxiety. It helps to take your mind off what's going on in the world. If you can, try to find someone who understands that anxiety and depression are real and who will be able to provide you with emotional support. A lot of suffering is prolonged during lockdown by not telling someone how you feel.
Anxiety is a normal human feeling that everyone experiences at some point in their life. Many people feel anxious and feel depressed during lockdowns. It's important to take steps to find relief and even the little things you do every day can help improve the anxiety symptoms that come with living in lockdown! But...
If you feel like it's getting too tough, get some professional help
If it feels like your anxiety is getting worse, make an appointment to talk with a psychologist or counselor who specializes in helping people deal with mental health issues. There are many health services available online now, either through video call, or over the phone. They will provide different strategies for you so that you can find relief from anxiety and ways to cope with the pressures of lockdown life.