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NOW READING How to Deal With Anxiety in the Age of COVID-19
March 25, 2020

How to Deal With Anxiety in the Age of COVID-19

You may have heard it a million times, but it bears repeating: We’ll all get through this, one Netflix Party at a time.


 

A lot of us deal with poor mental health on a daily basis, and at times like this during the current global pandemic, our mental well-being may decline even further. With the news of sickness and death pouring in from all corners of the Earth and reports of bare grocery store shelves, it’s difficult not to exist in a perpetual state of worry. I’m here to tell you that we’ll all get through this and to offer some tips for coping with any anxiety you may be experiencing.

 

 

But first, calm

 

First things first, take a deep breath. It’s easy to drift into panic mode, especially since we’re inundated with news of the outbreak 24/7 on TV and social media. People are either not taking it seriously and causing anxiety to those who understand the severity of the pandemic or overreacting by buying way more supplies than they need, making those who cannot find necessities feel underprepared or just plain worried about being unable to eat or practice basic hygiene.

 

 

istock/demaerre

 

 

As long as you’re being careful by washing your hands, disinfecting high-contact surfaces, and practicing social distancing, you’ll be alright. And remember, social distancing isn’t necessarily for your sake. It’s to protect people like the elderly, pregnant, or those with compromised immune systems.

 

 

Set up your new normal

 

If you have to work from home, it’s important to set a routine for yourself. Don’t try to work in bed in your pajamas, grabbing fistfuls of Corn Pops out of the box with one hand while you scroll through email with the other. If you don’t have some kind of check-in system that your office uses to make sure you’re working, it’s easy to slack off, binge-watch Netflix shows, or sleep the day away. Since you’re eventually going to go back to work, it’s imperative that you maintain your regular schedule so that when you do have to resume a normal commute, getting out of bed in the morning doesn’t feel like summiting Mt. Everest.

 

When you wake up, get out of bed, take a shower, and put on some clothes — you don’t have to don a power suit, some jeans or loungewear will do. Go through your usual AM routine (coffee/tea/brekkie), and then sit down to work at an actual table or desk. Take a break for lunch whenever you usually do, and clock out at your usual time. Treat it like a regular workday, just without the drive/train ride. If you find yourself unable to focus without the structure of an actual office, try the Pomodoro method. Breaking your periods of productivity into chunks could help you get a lot more done than staring at the ceiling willing your brain to work.

 

 

burnout anxiety during a pandemic
istock/torwal

 

 

Take advantage of the free time 

 

For a lot of freelancers out there, work is scarce or nonexistent during this time, thanks to the virus. The smaller organizations and businesses whose work is heavily skewed towards social events or who can’t afford to operate during this time have canceled gigs, leaving freelancers high and dry. Being out of work sucks not just because you’re idle but because it’s taking money out of your pocket. There are some lists and spreadsheets out there with opportunities for remote work, and hopefully, quite a few people will be able to secure jobs that way.

 

While I can’t play Daddy Warbucks for everyone in need, I can suggest a few ways you could fill your free time. Find little things to do around your house each day, like a honey-do list of sorts for yourself: Replace that dead bulb in the hallway, do the pile of laundry you’ve been collecting for 2 weeks, reorganize your pantry, clean your fridge, etc. This is also a good time to learn a new DIY craft or lose yourself in a good book or tackle that YA series you’ve been meaning to read. I personally recommend the Red Queen and Throne of Glass series. The Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist was just released not too long ago, so you could work your way through that.

 

 

books and sheet mask
istock/tapui

 

 

You could also practice yoga or deep breathing, stream a movie or show with friends using Netflix Party, have a virtual dinner date via Facetime, or practice mindfulness. Don’t worry about having to be productive during the downtime if you don’t have to. Remember, rest is also essential.

 

 

Work off some steam

 

Boredom + anxiety is often not a great combination. You have so much more time on your hands to worry about everything, and sometimes you might feel so restless and frustrated that you want to scream. When that happens, try to blow off some steam with a home workout. There are tons of free videos on YouTube like those offered by my favorite FitnessBlender. Cassie Ho of Blogilates has created a “14-Day Quarantine Workout Plan” for everyone who needs to get their fitness on while they self-isolate at home. With these resources or any others you find on the vast interwebs, you can boost endorphins for a better mood, improve sleep quality, and keep you active while we wait out the storm.

 

 

Put the phone down

 

Like I mentioned, living in the age of portable technology social media means that we are flooded with information every minute of every day. During the pandemic, Facebook and Twitter timelines are awash with news of infection rates, closings, and product shortages, and the same is on TV when you watch the news. These days, things seem to have gone from informative to panic-inducing, and for those with not-so-great mental health, it might be harder than usual to take it day by day.

 

 

anxiety during a pandemic

 

 

Try to keep the media exposure to a minimum to reduce anxiety. If your phone has the capability, limit your time on apps like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and CNN to an hour or two each day. I generally have timers set for social media because sometimes seeing people live out their seemingly perfect, happy lives makes me compare myself to them unfavorably. Timers also ensure that you don’t hurt your eyes or lose time scrolling infinitely on feeds. It’s a win-win.

 

Stay safe, stay home if you can, and wash your hands. And don’t forget to check in on your friends and family to make sure that they’re doing alright. We’re all in this together, so let’s do our best to flatten the curve. And if you’ve got any tips that you use to combat anxiety during the pandemic, let me know in the comments below. We could all use some new coping mechanisms during this time.

 


 

Let us help you — in a small way — to alleviate some anxiety with a giveaway!

 

All you have to do is comment below, and tell us what you’re doing to cope during this time of self-isolation.

 

The first 35 commenters by March 31, 2020 will receive a coupon code for a free Steambase Roseherb Build Up Toner or Emulsion* (selected at random) in your next order!

 

*U.S. orders only. 

 

 

Karachi discovered K-beauty in 2015 and fell wallet-first into the fray. When she’s not binge-watching a TV series or losing herself in a book, she’s creating wish lists of new stuff to try and reading posts by her favorite bloggers. Learning has been a lifelong hobby for her and she truly enjoys geeking out about the amazing things different ingredients can do for skin.

Beautytap

COMMENTS 35

elifranke

Taking care of yourself is the most important thing to do and most people don’t realize it. With the virus and everything going on in the world we still need to find things to keep our mind sane and make us happy, and self care can go a long way whether it’s reading a book, taking a bath and doing an extra long skin care routine. Whatever it is we all need to remember to take care of our own self!

toni4beauty

I agree with this article! Getting up and getting dressed is the first step. It gets our mind and body ready to be productive. I combat anxiety with productivity as it distracts me from potential stressors. The point Karachi made about limiting our social media time was on the mark. We need to step away from social media so we don't compare our lives to others. Do things that make you happy during this difficult time.

ninawiskow

Keeping up a normal routine or finding things to keep you busy and provides some sort of enrichment for your mind and body are definite keys. I’ll admit that I’ve fallen victim to watching Hulu and Netflix a lot more, but depending on the day I’ll do some mini workouts just to get my body moving or I’ll even have a whole day just masking and pampering myself (doing my makeup for no reason, taking a nice long shower just to relax, doing my hair because I got tired of putting it in a bun every single day, etc.) Doing... Read more

viviennemanuel

Keeping a routine is definitely something that needs to still be done. I admit during the first week of quarantine I just watched Netflix all day and snacked on anything and everything! After the second week I had enough! I used to depend on my planner and I would open it daily to keep up with everything! I wrote almost everything down : work out, lunch, wash hair....etc! I lost the importance of how having something to do each day meant to ones self.

By writing everything down, I was able to give myself little assignments to do around the... Read more

amygalibut

I have been using this opportunity to organize my kit storage. My makeup area looks amazing and I feel like it eases the anxiety having a space that brings me joy.

choikyung

Don't be afraid at this time.I think it would be okay if we were to wash our hands, disinfect the contact surface, and keep social distance.Also, we should make good use of Sigyn, right?You can practice yoga or deep breathing, stream movies using Netflix Party, show with your friends, have a virtual dinner through Facetime, or practice mindfulness.I think it's time for us to unite and overcome!

kaylarenae

A few of my tips to help with Anxiety as I once suffered:
1) Know you are not alone. Make sure you have someone you trust to talk to, who can uplift you with positive words of encouragement. There are some pretty great 24-hr Hotlines you can research when you have time. 2) Take Deeper Breaths, whenever you are feeling nervous. 3) Pay attention to your body, when something doesn't feel best for you, change it. 4) Positive Affirmations are the Truth. Although confidence doesn't come overnight, showering yourself with Beautiful Compliments when you start to think negative will... Read more

maika311

Focusing on self-care and staying positive. Being cooped up in the house, along with hearing news about hate crimes targeting Asians, gives you a new perspective in terms
of appreciating that I am healthy.

christinalevandowski

Sending good thoughts to you in this difficult time. All the best!

tracyannteel

Each morning, I give myself 30 minutes to check in with the world, and then I check out for the rest of the day. I have to be able to concentrate in order to work (freelance writer and editor), so I also spend the first hour on the treadmill listening to waves, rain, and other white noise. Tuning out the world is key for me -- for at least a few hours.

hachisugoi

That's a great approach to take! Better to start the morning calm and focused than in a state of worry about things you can't change. Too many people are making the mistake of constantly tuning in to their news apps and it's escalating the panic.

kaylarenae

I agree. Tuning into the news every now in then is just fine for myself. I am focusing on protecting my energy & putting my positive energy towards productivity.

naomi673

The changes that COVID-19 has brought on have been difficult for a lot of people. I am still adjusting to being in my house almost the entire day. My motivation levels have definitely gone down but creating a schedule has helped. I think at this time it is important to be kinder to ourselves and not expect everything to be business as usual but online. I will definitely check out the workout links because that is something I've been struggling to implement in my routine.

hachisugoi

Yes, routines are important during this time. Fitness Blender is great. Kelli and Daniel do a great job of putting videos and programs together and walking you through them, letting you know how you can modify them if need be. You watch them struggle through HIIT routines and talk about their own challenges with weight and strength levels and it motivates you to keep working until you get where you want to be.

kaylarenae

Wishing you good luck on your schedule Naomi! You got this! I believe you can Slay your workout routine & get the results you deserve. Sweating the toxins out of your body will improve your mood & get that motivation going again. I'm ready to bounce back myself & prepare to live a healthier lifestyle ✨

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