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I have to say the current COVID-19 pandemic has put my coping skills to the test. Having anxiety isn’t fun. If you have anxiety, you know that it can be overwhelming.
At a time where many of us feel powerless it’s vital we have a sense of control.
The following tips will empower you to help yourself and your anxiety during COVID-19. It’s important to remember these tips aren’t a replacement for one’s therapist, but a supplement to it.
When people think of acceptance many times individuals relate it to surrendering to our struggles. In reality, acceptance is empowering and helps us acknowledge our anxious thoughts and feelings.
I find unknown factors are causing me to become anxious. I’m guessing I’m not alone in this battle. For this reason, I want to share the following reminders:
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- Self-acceptance doesn’t mean surrendering to our current condition during this pandemic.
- Feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and powerless in times of crisis is normal. Remember to show yourself a little self-compassion.
- Accept we’re only in control of our actions and beliefs and can’t control the beliefs of the people around us.
Two: Use a Gratitude Journal
In our current pandemic, it’s hard to not take a worst-case scenario approach to one’s day. I have those days often.
It’s important to remember what we are grateful for in our life. When we are mindful of what we are thankful for it helps us realize that even though life is hard, we still have things we can be thankful for.
Here are two tips for gratitude journaling:
- Write down what you’re thankful for and why you feel thankful for these things
- Write down struggles you’ve overcome and take a moment to celebrate those wins.
Three: Practice Self-Compassion
I get how negative feelings can make you feel powerless and anxious. For this reason, it’s important to practice self-compassion and remember needing a little self-care isn’t selfish.
Self-care is an act of selflessness and a vital tool to help you get through COVID-19.
Here are some truths about self-compassion:
- Self-compassion is a sign of having a strong sense of self-awareness
- Self-compassion helps us recognize and regulate our emotions in a healthy manner
- Self-compassion helps us realize nobody is perfect and it’s alright to be anxious during our current living situation
Four: Reframing Our Approach to Isolation
Many people in this pandemic focus on what they can’t do because of their current living situation. A better way to think about our isolation is reframing what we choose to focus on. Doing so won’t change our current situation, but it’ll help us relate to our current situation in a more positive manner.
Here are a couple of examples of taking a new approach to things:
- If you are no longer able to go to the gym, find an at-home alternative. There are plenty of free options available right now.
- If your favourite bookstore is closed, buy an e-book, instead.
Five: It’s Okay to Feel Anxious Regarding How Covid-19 Will Impact Your Recovery
If you find you get anxious or you’re scared about the way COVID-19 may interfere with your doctor/therapist appointments or medication, remember there are often solutions to stick with recovery, even during this pandemic.
Here are a few ideas of ways you can still focus on your mental health during this trying time:
- Make a list of local mental health organizations (such as the CMHA https://cmha.ca/) who are currently running remote peer support groups.
- Stay connected with your doctor, therapist, and other support channels, many of whom are offering virtual alternatives to in-person care.
If you struggle to find the support you need here is a list of mental health and addiction resources by Health Canada.
Our current situation during COVID-19 can make one feel powerless and anxious. For this reason, these tips are vital, and so is listening to your therapist.
Here are a few final tips:
- Disconnect from social medial as you need to
- Unfollow people and accounts that cause you more harm than good
- Practice resilience
- Develop a healthy routine
- Practice healthy self-talk
- Focus on the things that are in your control
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