5 Ways to Manage Anxiety During Quarantine
To say that these are unprecedented times would be an understatement. Between COVID-19, the resulting economic impacts, and safer-at-home orders, people across the country are experiencing anxiety like never before. The uncertainty about how and when this all will end only serves to worsen the fear and anxiety.
While you cannot control the worldwide spread of the virus or other people’s reactions, you can take steps to protect your own mental health. If you’ve never experienced these feelings before, you may wish to learn more about anxiety, its causes, and treatment plans. Below are some tips you can incorporate into your daily life to lessen your anxiety throughout this quarantine.
1. Attend Teletherapy Sessions
With or without a pandemic, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most widely accepted and effective treatment for anxiety disorders. CBT is a form of talk therapy in which a counselor helps a patient identify negative thought patterns that then lead to negative behaviors and more unhealthy thoughts. Together, they find ways to reverse this cycle and create healthy, positive patterns.
You don’t have to break quarantine to reap the benefits of CBT. Teletherapy uses video conferencing to connect you to qualified, compassionate professionals. In these secure video sessions, you can work through CBT in the same ways you would through in-person sessions. Studies continue to show that teletherapy is at least as effective as in-person therapy, and some patients even prefer teletherapy.
In teletherapy, your counselor will help you identify specific triggers for your anxiety and find solutions to those issues. While the remaining tips can be effective for most people living with anxiety during quarantine, teletherapy provides a personalized approach.
2. Establish a Routine
As much as possible, try to stick to the routine you had before quarantine began. Of course, many parts of your routine will be different. However, sticking to a familiar rhythm can help you and your family feel more comfortable.
For example, consider waking up at the same time every day. If you’re working from home, be sure to have set hours for work as much as possible. If nothing from your old routine applies, try creating new routines for quarantine life. Once you have an established rhythm in your life, your mind has to make fewer decisions during the day, which can lessen anxiety.
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3. Set Your Home Up for Success
For as long as you’re safer at home, you will be spending a lot of time there. Make sure it’s set up for your success during this time. For example, if clutter makes you feel distracted and anxious, take time to tidy up. This can be a great time to rearrange your home to make it feel more comfortable as well.
You may also need to solve some issues that quarantine created. For example, if you have children at home with lots of extra energy, clear out some space for them to get that energy out. Anything you can do to make life at home easier during this time will be worth the investment.
4. Avoid Endless News Coverage
News about COVID-19 and related topics is constant. It can feel like every time you turn around, there’s another sad or scary story about the virus and economic impact. While it’s important to stay informed to some degree, it’s equally essential to avoid getting overwhelmed by the news. Try carving out only a few minutes per day to get caught up on the news, then leave it alone for the rest of the day.
5. Safely Reach Out to Loved Ones
Connecting to friends and family is as important to your mental health now as it ever was. However, how people find that connection will have to look different. Just because you’re not meeting up with loved ones in person doesn’t mean you have to be completely alone. Video calls, online games, and even letters can provide social connections right now.