We’ve all felt our hearts beat a little faster since the beginning of 2020. There was a global gasp for air. We were thrown into a different lifestyle; one that excluded being with loved ones and friends.
And now that over a year has passed, we are still figuring out ways to cope with what’s happened and continuing to happen. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but shit’s not been ok. And that’s okay to acknowledge. Here are some things you or someone you know can do to help ease the widespread anxiety during the pandemic.
1. Video Chat A Loved One
Video chatting exploded the past year. It’s sometimes the only way some of us are able to connect with friends and family lately. It’s better than nothing, for sure. If you’re feeling like you need some interaction besides double tapping on your screen, give a friend or family member a call. Crank it up with a video call! Some free services are
- Google Hangout
- Facebook Messenger
You have options! Maybe the person you’re calling could really benefit from seeing your face today. I know it brightens my day when my family and bestie video chat me.
2. Take A Break From The News
It’s so easy to get caught in a rabbit hole if COVID internet searches. You might start off by looking up the local statistics in your area. 3 hours later, you’ve ready about every variant in every country, know all of the body counts, and other facts you could have lived without.
Turn off the tv and close the web browser.
Staying informed is ok, but constantly subjecting yourself to news about COVID is probably not good for your mental health. Take a deep breath; woosah. We’ll get through this.
3. Connect With Nature
You might not be able to pop up at your homegirl’s house, but you can pull up on Mother Nature anytime. You can try a short camping trip with the people in your household. Even if other campers are around, you can keep your distance. Being outside has been a ‘go-to’ during the pandemic.
Grab some of your favorite snacks, books, and non-electronic things and head towards the trees. Breathing in fresh air coupled with the previous tip of limiting your news intake will do wonders for you. The Getaway House is a perfect opportunity to do just that. If you’re near a site, I highly recommend you check it out. My husband and I went for a weekend; it was perfect. Check out the pics below from the one in Houston.
There are several locations around the US. Maybe the Getaway House is what you, your family, or loved ones need right now.
4. Exercise Away The Angst
It’s okay if you’ve gained a few pounds the past year and a half. A lot of people have. Likewise, a lot of people have shed some pounds! The extra time at home can be put to good use by working out. It doesn’t have to be anything wild. Just get active a few days a week. 30 minutes of moderate activity for 3-5 days a week can naturally improve your anxiety. You’re essentially taking that nervous energy from your fight or flight response and draining it with some heart pumping goodness.
You can try some of these paid exercise programs at home:
- Peloton (Don’t have a bike but thinking about buying one? You can use my code 5VVK7U for $100 off accessories when you do!)
- The Mirror
- Beachbody on Demand
Some free exercise ideas:
- workouts from Pinterest
- running or walking around your neighborhood
- playing and running around with your kids
- dancing to your favorite music
There’s really something for everyone. As long as you’re moving your body, you’re doing it right. Shake off those pandemic jitters.
5. Do Boxed Breathing Exercises
Yoga might not be your cup of tea, but everyone can benefit from some meditation and breathing. Calm your mind and body with every breath you take. Have you ever heard of boxed breathing?
Per Medical News Today, box breathing is a simple technique that a person can do anywhere, including at a work desk or in a cafe. Before starting, people should sit with their back supported in a comfortable chair and their feet on the floor.
- Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose while counting to four slowly. Feel the air enter your lungs.
- Hold your breath inside while counting slowly to four. Try not to clamp your mouth or nose shut. Simply avoid inhaling or exhaling for 4 seconds.
- Begin to slowly exhale for 4 seconds.
- Repeat steps 1 to 3 at least three times. Ideally, repeat the three steps for 4 minutes, or until calm returns.
If you find the technique challenging to begin with, you can try counting to three instead of four. Once you’re used to the technique, you can count to five or six.
6. Try a Free Mindfulness App
Being aware that you’re feeling uneasy and anxious lately is a great first step. Fine tuning that awareness is sometimes challenging on our own. Use a free mindfulness app to help.
There are more options, too. Some apps will charge you if you want more than just the first few meditations or guided programs they offer for free. Let me know if you tried any of these or any different ones!
7. Try Individual Or Group Virtual Therapy
Mental health is just as important as your physical health. Just like we go to our primary physician for physical care, it’s ok to consult with a therapist for our mental care.
There are virtual therapy programs like BetterHelp and TalkSpace that will let you talk with a therapist on your own couch. You do have to pay for the services, but you might qualify for assistance (if offered). You can also check with your job to see if they offer any kind of employee mental health services for free or cheap.
We push to normalize a lot of things these days; therapy should be one of them.
Keep Hanging Out With The Daily Mama Blog
It may seem silly, but even just coming to visit this blog every day might bring you some joy and ease your anxiety! I hope you find something in this article to relax and calm your mind and spirit. Share it with anyone who could use a good deep breath and sigh of relief today.
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