Suffice it to say, there is nothing like a global viral pandemic to throw a wrench into our day-to-day lives and routines! Because the COVID-19 situation is changing daily and because it is so fluid, it creates a lot of uncertainty around the future. Life feels out of our control. As humans, there is nothing like that kind of uncertainty to create an exceptional amount of anxiety and stress in our lives. So how can we cope?
Start by focusing on what you can control. Your life may have changed due to stay at home orders or work from home requirements, etc., but ask yourself what you can do to create an environment with less chaos and more stability. Create a new routine around the recent changes in your life and fill that routine with coping tools that can help you get your day off to a better start and keep you grounded in peace, not fear.
Your day might begin with a 15 to 20-minute early morning meditation or mindfulness activity. There are many tools that include HeartMath, EFT, creative visualizations and mindfulness. All of these activities use different ways to help one face the internal voices that keep us in anxiety and move us to the process of calming those voices and finding peace.
HeartMath is a technique that joins the heart and the brain in constant communication allowing a person to reduce the stress of daily life and lay a foundation for better life experience. https://www.heartmath.com/. From The HeartMath Team – “The HeartMath Experience was first released in November 2019, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. The tools it provides can help people find balance and clarity through the current challenging times.” This technique is supported by more than 25 years of scientific research around the psychophysiology of stress, emotions and the interactions between the heart and the brain.
EFT- Emotional Freedom Technique is an alternative treatment for physical pain and emotional distress. It’s also referred to as “tapping” or psychological acupressure. https://www.healthline.com/health/eft-tapping. People who use this technique believe tapping the body can create a balance in one’s energy system and treat pain. According to its developer, Gary Craig, a disruption in energy is the cause of all negative emotions and pain.
In addition to these specific techniques, some may find help with creative visualizations, focused breathing and other such mindfulness activities. A great resource that has recently been created in answer to the virus outbreak is https://www.virusanxiety.com/.
Facing the Changes in Your Work Environment
If you find yourself now working from home instead of an office, there are some ways you can create an environment that help keep you focused and ensure strong work/life boundaries
- Set an alarm same time each morning
- Take a shower and get dressed just like you would if commuting to work
- Create a dedicated workspace – avoid working from the bed as it may confuse the brain when it’s time to sleep and it could lead to insomnia. Your bed should be a safe, relaxing zone.
- Set regular meal breaks
- Start and end your day at the time you normally would
- Change the sights, scents, and sounds in your home. Play relaxing music, burn a scented candle, rearrange artwork for a more pleasant experience.
- Make time for regular exercise
Additional Ways to Combat Anxiety
- Stay in the present. Anxiety most often deals with disappointment over the past or worry about the future.
- Spend time in nature if you can, while also social distancing
- Explore a new hobby
- Help someone else
- Reach out to friends
- Support a small business
Today, we are in uncertain times. Coronavirus anxiety is real. Be gentle with yourself. Or even better, while the world is on hold in quarantine, maybe now is the time to really take care of yourself.
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