Managing Anxiety in the time of COVID
The uncertainty of our current environment has made it especially hard for people dealing with anxiety. The locus of control is often a trigger for anxiety, when the world, your health and your future seem outside of your control it can set off anxiety and the fears that underlie it. If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, isolated, or lonely in this rapidly changing dynamic you are not alone. The National Health Council reports that Anxiety Screening have increased 370% since January. There are things you can do to help reduce the anxiety and return the locus of control to yourself.
Try to stay focused on the larger perspective. Stay informed but do not become obsessed with the news. This will further enhance your feeling of lost control. Use trusted sites, verify information sources as there is no shortage of anxiety producing misinformation out there. Focus as well on the countries and areas that have successfully managed the pandemic so you are reminded that we can get through this.
Some of the most creative and most powerful ideas were born in hard times. Hershey moved their chocolate bars from a decadent treat to an inexpensive snack loaded with almonds for protein. Play-Doh pivoted from a cleaning substance to an inexpensive childhood favorite. Companies are pivoting from high end liquor to hand sanitizing, from making cars to making ventilators. We are not the victim of our environment, we do not have to wait to adapt and change, we are free to pivot and use it as a jumping off place for new ideas, innovation, and re-growth.
The isolation and loneliness of this time is especially anxiety producing. Build a strong support system. Look to Professionals, friends, relatives, and associations for support. We are all isolated, we all need to have support. Therapists and Counselors are offering On Demand and Online Sessions at affordable rates which are free from the stress of going to an office or leaving the comfort of home. Find new networks personal, professional or hobby focused where you can meet like minded new friends. If you are feeling depressed or suicidal please reach out to a professional online, counseling on demand is key.
This is the perfect time to take care of yourself, focus on your vision for better days and pamper yourself. Meditation, prayer, or other spirit enhancing practices will do much for your soul and allow you to reset. A long bath, great music and favorite movies can reduce anxiety and lighten your spirit.
Shift in Thinking
Most importantly, think about this as something you will get through, think about the strength, and power you get from surviving hard times. Grit is born in this type of environment. Focus on the future, your vision of recovery and your new ideas for thriving even in the worst of times. The control to shift your thinking lies in your hands. It takes no special education, no money, and no job to change your thinking. It takes belief. In you is all the power you need to set your destiny, to control your reactions and to live to your best life.