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Managing anxiety during a pandemic

March 19, 2020

I’m going to start this off by asking are you okay? How are you feeling right at this moment? I’ll give you a minute, take a diary/open your notes app and write down the answer to these questions, be honest to yourself. 

If the words ‘anxious’ or ‘anxiety’ popped up in your thoughts, well guess what -  you are not alone. This is such a stressful time for a lot of us. Who would've thought March 2020 would quite literally make us stay at home? The stress adds on even more when it's a pandemic just like right now, this is definitely feeding onto the anxiety even more and I don’t blame you! It’s completely valid. However, I’m going to try and give you ways to get you through this by listing some ways I manage the anxiety. 

Take breaks from social media 

Everything we listen to and everything we see on social media is revolving around different kinds of information about this pandemic. The repetition of this news makes me even more anxious. This is why it’s important to take breaks. I do this by getting away from social media, keeping my phone away or turning off the TV. Limiting to checking the news just once or twice per day is a great practise. I’m not saying to keep yourself cut off, make sure to be connected but not to the extent where it feels like it’s too much to handle.

Communicate with the people you trust

I know how easy this sounds but this is one of THE most key things that you can do to manage your anxiety during this difficult time. For instance, I do this by facetiming my best friend. You can also contact the Good2Talk Helpline (24/7) by calling 1.866.925.5454 or texting “GOOD2TALKON” to 686868. Remember that many of Student Life’s supports such as mental health and academic support are still available virtually, so don’t be afraid to reach out for support. Just talking about your feelings can help make you feel so much better. 

Do activities that you enjoy

Procrastination from work is okay sometimes… I do this by going through the articles that we have on the Digital Community, binge watching a show on Netflix, learning a new language on Duolingo, watching a seminar on Crowdcast, reading a book or working on a puzzle. There are many things you can do whatever floats your boat and helps you keep your mind off the pandemic for a while. 

Manage your diet 

What better time to list out a healthy diet. Writing down a well balanced diet is actually correlated with anxiety. Eating a healthy and balanced diet will reduce anxiety immensely. 

Exercise

If you were a regular at the gym then the closing of the gyms during this pandemic would have affected you. Fear not! Who says you need fancy equipment to keep yourself fit? I downloaded this app called Wakeout that helps me workout with simple things around the house. Watching YouTube videos on effective home workouts also helps a lot! Working out is an amazing way to manage your anxiety as it keeps me active and away from all the anxious feelings. If you’re looking for more ways to get active when your gym is closed, read Taylor’s article.

Self-care 

Self-care includes a wide range of things such as yoga, dancing, stretching, manicure, pedicure, face-masks, exfoliating, taking a hot shower, praying or meditating. Anything that relaxes the mind and keeps it from getting anxious with all that’s going on will be super helpful during this time. 

Remember, communication is key for us to get through this. Stay connected to your community virtually, or consider writing down your thoughts in a diary to get them out of your head. All in all this is a difficult time but we will get through this stronger and wiser.