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April 13, 2020

How to Manage Anxiety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The current situation is stressful for everyone and it’s normal to be worried and anxious. I like this 5-4-3-2-1 grounding approach by The Real Depression Project and I share a few more strategies to manage anxiety below:

1. Accept that some anxiety is normal right now and can be functional in that it motivates us to take the appropriate steps to protect ourselves and others.

2. Be realistic about your risk and consume information from credible sources as opposed to FB friends who have been “googling for hours”.

3. Take a break from the news and data. Pick a few times daily to check in, but consider avoiding the video updates that seem to pop up every hour (unless there is an urgent reason why you need hourly updates).

4. In addition to scheduling your news updates, consider taking a daily digital detox to unplug completely.

5. Consider soothing the physical signs of anxiety first. You can’t immediately *think* anxiety away, but a few deep breaths & some of these grounding techniques related to your senses can help to soothe your body (and mind).

6. If you feel overwhelmed, consider writing down your problems and numbering them to identify which ones are pressing. Brainstorm solutions on paper. When problems & thoughts seem unmanageable, ask yourself if what you’re thinking is entirely true and whether there are alternative perspectives. For example, if you think you’re going to die, can you write down the evidence you have to support this thought and the evidence that might refute it in order to come up with a more realistic thought?

7. Can you make a list of things that make you feel good, safe and/or relaxed (e.g. meeting with friends online, cooking, exercising, painting)? Can you put more of these things in your calendar for tomorrow & the upcoming week?

8. Reach out to friends! Social support is good for reducing anxiety.

9. Go easy on yourself. Many of us feel pressure to perform, create & reinvent ourselves in our newfound “free time”, but it’s okay if you’re more focused on surviving than thriving right now.

10. Sleep. Eat. Move. Seek therapy/support if you experience significant distress & are struggling to cope.

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😢Anxiety is very high in the world at present due to the coronavirus – events cancelled, businesses closing, classes switched to online, self-quarantine… not to mention the uncertainty of what is ahead. . 💚This technique can help you get grounded during this tough time – it helps separate you from your thoughts which may not be serving you as well as they normally do . 💚Breathe deeply, bring your awareness to the present, and focus on each day at a time . . 💚Please share this – it could really help someone in need . . . 👇Comment below: What is helping your anxiety during this period? . . . . . . . . . . . . . #coronavirus #coronavirüsü #anxietyattack #panicattack #panicattacks #anxiety #anxietyproblems #anxietysupport #anxietyhelp #anxietyawareness #ptsd #ptsdawareness #cptsd #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealth #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthquotes #mentalhealthsupport #mentalillness #mentalillnessawareness #depression #depressionawareness #depressionhelp #realdepressionproject #thedepressionproject

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