If you are a previous or current anxiety sufferer, being cooped up in the house in order to self-isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic can be really hard on your mental well-being. I know it has been on mine.
Visits with friends and family are not encouraged, we can’t go to the gym, go shopping, get our hair/nails done, can’t go to the movies or go out to eat, alot of people are laid off or their hours were cut, grocery stores are only allowing so many people in meaning you have to wait in line to get essential items and food. This is a hard time.
Being cooped up in the house alone with your thoughts and knowing theres literally nothing you can do about it is stressful and can totally take a tole on your mood.
The good news is, there are things you can do inside your home (and outside) to reduce your anxiety, uplift your mood while still social distancing.
1. Start a Grateful List
Write out 3 things that your grateful for every day. It will shift your perspective and make you think about the bigger picture. Yes were in quarantine, yes there is a global pendemic, YES there are still so many other things we have to be grateful for like having a safe place to stay, having technology like zoom and face time so we can virtually see our friends and family, etc., Dig deep and reflect.
2. Get some fresh air
Just because your self-isolating doesn’t mean you can’t go outside and enjoy the sunshine. Go for a walk, a jog, plant a garden orsit outside and have your coffee/wine. Getting outside can do wonders to your mental health and it just feels so good to breathe in fresh air.
Whether its your pantry, your closet, your books or your makeup, get your hands busy and clean out some crap you’ve been putting off for a long time. I know I have a pile of old clothes and makeup I don’t use and I am taking this time to get rid of some and organize the rest. With all of the things we can’t control in the world right now, focus on things you CAN control. It will make you feel less cluttered and anxious and more clean and fresh!
4. Read a Book
I mean… I’m a huge book nerd so I have been reading up a storm to occupy my free time. It also helps me get out of my head and into another world which gives me a sense of calm. There are so many amazing personal development books out there too that can give you helpful tips during this time. Some of my favorites are the untethered soul, the power of now, Rachel Hollis books and the daily stoic.
5. Practice yoga or meditation
Meditation and/or yoga helps with staying connected with yourself and can be very relaxing. It brings you to the present and allows you to view your negative/anxious thoughts as they are instead of judging them and it teaches you to let them go. Whenever I feel anxious I practice mindfulness and shift my attention to my body and my breathe. Its a good way to check in with yourself, be kind to yourself and accept whats happening without reacting. Headspace is a great meditation app and Yoga with Adrienne on youtube is fantastic for people of all fitness levels!
I’m not going to tell you to exercise because its going to keep the “quarantine 15” off (whoever made up that term you’re an asshole) but I will tell you that moving your body is a great way to decrease anxiety and get those feel-good hormones pumping. Move in whatever way YOU love too, not what other people think you should be doing. Personally, I have been doing lots of outdoor walks with my dog, at home workouts, youtube workouts, or whatever else Ive been feeling.
Also its kind of been fun to switch things up from my normal gym routine. Getting out of your comfort zone is a good thing!
Well there you have it! 6 things that have helped reduce my anxiety during self-isolation. I think when we fall into a funk it’s important for us to be proactive and try doing things that will help instead of doing nothing and being reactive. I find the more I hide from my feelings and mope on the couch I feel more shitty and it prolongs my anxiety.
For more self-care tips check out my Wellness section for posts like What To Do on a Bad Mental Health Day and more!
p.s. I hope everyone had a wonderful May Long!