Anxiety Relief During
Anxiety relief during Covid-19 (and any time) is crucial and challenging, especially for those of us who are prone to anxiety. I have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), an anxiety disorder and medical condition related to biochemical imbalances in the brain. If you remember the TV show Monk, that’s a comedic portrayal of the life of someone with OCD.
Anxiety Relief During Covid-19:
You Have Some Work To Do ...
Yes, OCD is brutal, but humor's an important tool for
managing and overcoming challenges. Before Covid-19, my “plate of worry” was
full; now I have two plates … hermetically sealed. Today we are facing a
pandemic. The nightmare is no longer an irrational fear or an intrusive
thought. Now it’s real.
to the supermarket isn’t so simple. I’m amazed at how quickly people will show
up right next to me in an aisle that was empty seconds earlier. They literally
pull up beside me! When I’m outdoors, I’ve become obsessed with wind speed and
direction. I’ve noticed that people seem to cough only when I’m downwind!
Anxiety Relief During Covid-19:
Dealing With People ...
If someone decides to spit on the sidewalk (record scratch), I will not hesitate to let them know how I feel … standing 200 yards away, upwind.
Side note: I believe there should be a nationwide minimum fine of $1,000 for spitting in a public space. Let’s not forget the people who continue to lick their fingers before grabbing the plastic bags in the produce department. My people proximity radar is on super high alert. Please forgive me, I needed to express some frustration.
We are also coping with the stress and sadness of not being able to be with friends and family. Those dinners, sporting events, and birthday parties not only fed our bellies, but also our souls. Add in the pandemic induced economic uncertainty and it’s easy to make the following assessment: anxiety levels have reached critical mass.
But all is not
lost! Here’s how to get some anxiety relief during Covid-19:
and foremost, do not be ashamed to ask for help. If you are depressed
and feel you are at risk of harming yourself, call 911 or the National Suicide
Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255. Schedule
an appointment with a therapist if you feel it’s necessary. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
CDC guidelines (www.cdc.gov)
for safety precautions and coping tips.
yourself instead of others. I admit, this is a huge challenge for me. I have
to learn how to live among those who trigger negative responses from me.
It’s easy to get fired up over inconsiderate people. But guess what? They
certainly aren’t losing sleep over their ignorance. Why should I let them
increase my stress level? Increased stress levels can actually lower your
immunity - increasing your risk of getting sick!
your exposure to news and social media – these are toxic venues which feed
anxiety and depression.
alcohol consumption. Resist the urge to “self-medicate.” We are facing enough challenges. Alcohol and
substance abuse don’t need to be added to the mix.
out or reduce stimulants such as caffeine, sugar, and nicotine. Fact: smoking
doesn’t relax you, it’s actually the deep breathing you do when you inhale and
exhale. Imagine how you’ll feel breathing deeply without inhaling smoke and
you are struggling with OCD, ask yourself if the fear is warranted. Do you need
to wash your hands because they are actually dirty or is OCD “tormenting you” in
order to give in to the compulsion?
out to family and friends via Face Time or Zoom. Just seeing and hearing them
will remind you that you have a support system. You are not alone.
you have pets, focus on their needs and enjoy the gift of their companionship.
They love and need you!
time for yourself. Go for a jog, a walk, or a bike ride – physical exercise
will boost endorphin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin – neurotransmitters
that can elevate your mood. Burning off the nervous energy can also help you
you are done exercising, cool down, find a peaceful setting and be still. Just
focus on doing absolutely nothing except taking in the beauty of your
surroundings: the serenade of a vibrantly colored bird, the scent of flowers or
the salty air by the ocean, the feel of the gentle wind cooling your skin.
hypnotherapy – there are free downloads right on
gratitude. As tough as things are, take inventory of all that you have. All
of us still have a purpose in this world. You still have a life to live!
yourself a hot cup of tea (try to go with decaf or caffeine free). Then listen
to some relaxing music.
others. Call neighbors, especially the elderly and check up on them. Ask if you
can deliver groceries to their door. Contact local charities and find out how
you can be of assistance. Being a virtual volunteer, donating blood (www.redcrossblood.org), donating food to local pantries, and
ordering food to be delivered to first responders are some examples to get you
started. Focusing on those who may be less fortunate or just doing a kind deed
can help you “get out of your head” and uplift you.
One final thought, the most challenging times, the ones where we feel we are at rock bottom, present the greatest of pains and the greatest of opportunities. We have a choice. Do we choose to be emotional victims of these fleeting times, or do we lift ourselves up, defeat this beast, and celebrate life?
Take these steps and you are on your way to getting anxiety relief during Covid-19. Know that this too will pass and there are many better days ahead for you!
Wishing you peaceful days,
- Ted Stefanski
For anxiety relief during Covid-19, be gentle with yourself and care about yourself. Expect to feel better. It is absolutely possible, but you have to be willing to do something to change your brain's programming.
Anxiety Relief During Covid-19 and Other Healthy Tips for Anxiety