You cannot always control what goes on outside, but you can always control what goes on inside.
It sure is a different world we’re living in today versus a year ago, a month ago, a week ago and even a day ago with how quickly things are changing from one day to the next with the coronavirus (COVID-19) running rampant in the United States and around the world.
How are you handing things? How are you doing with all the time spent at home? How’s your anxiety, especially around your health and the health of others?
The following is some some helpful information about health anxiety symptoms, self-care ideas and expectations versus reality this time of year.
Health anxiety symptoms you may be experiencing:
- Intrusive thoughts about what might happen in the future (What if statements).
- Catastrophizing- making things bigger than they actually are right now.
- Excessive worry about your health and the health of others.
- Feelings of panic
- Pounding heart
- Butterflies in your stomach
- Trouble sleeping
Health anxiety self-care ideas:
- Meditation- quiet or guided- to help you feel centered and grounded right here and now.
- Journaling- to help you process your feelings and emotions and help you focus on gratitude.
- Exercise- inside or outside of the house (practicing social distancing, of course).
- Healthy eating- as much as possible, given the constraints of getting to the store right now.
- Connect with family and friends via Skype.
- Talk to a therapist via tele-health.
- Hang out with your family pet.
- Come up with a helpful daily mantra- be here now, we’re okay, etc.
- Mindfulness- pay attention to the moment you are currently in. It can be helpful to focus on the five senses: what are you hearing/ smelling/ seeing/ touching/ tasting?
- Make sure you are getting enough sleep– you can use a mindfulness app (such as Relax Melodies) to help you relax before bed.
- Read– fiction if you just need something light and fluffy to get your mind off all the changes. Non-fiction- something deep and heavy if you need to feel a connection to people who have gone though what you are currently experiencing.
- Educate yourself– read books, surf the Internet, watch the news, and talk to others, especially people who have been in your shoes.
Expectations this time of year
- Vacation Planning
- Eatting Out
- A supply of toilet paper
- Healthy Eatting
- Alone time at home
- Exercise Classes
- Normal Workday
- Kids at School
- Going out to the movies
- Health Checkups Appointments
- Favorite Items at the store
Reality of right now
- Staying home
- Wondering when we’ll travel again
- Cooking at home
- Dwindling supply
- Lots of snacking
- Exercise outside (social distancing)
- Chaotic workday
- Kids e-learning
- Movie night in
- Grateful for any items at the store
Stay safe! If you are concerned about your mental health or someone elses, please reach out. These are uncertain times for all of us, and heightened levels of anxiety are very, very common right now.