Tips to Reduce Anxiety During The COVID-19 Lockdown

Researchers have found that some people are prone to experiencing mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, during times of pandemic. Additionally, those with pre-existent conditions will see them aggravated. What can you do to take good care of your mental health during the COVID lockdown?

  • Read news from trustworthy sources (WHO, CDC, etc.): avoid media outlets that focus on things you can’t control. Instead, turn to sources that provide reliable information about how to protect yourself.
  • Set limits on your media consumption: limit your media consumption to a certain time frame or a certain number of articles.
  • Develop an action plan: recognize the things you can control (washing your hands, staying indoors, disinfecting items) and focus on that to decrease your stress levels.
  • Avoid the herd mentality: be aware that a lot of people take action that doesn’t help (such as buying an enormous amount of tissue papers or wearing masks when they don’t need to).
  • Practice good self-care: eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy sleep schedule and engaging in leisure activities will help you stay physically and psychologically healthy during these times.
  • Leisure activities (whether by yourself or with family members) during lockdown can include:
  1. Complete a puzzle.
  2. Watch really long movies that you’ve been avoiding until now.
  3. Start a journal; it could be about your experience during this lockdown that you might want to look back on in a decade or about something completely different.
  4. Download Duolingo and teach yourself a foreign language.
  5. Play an instrument (but mind your neighbors).
  6. Try meditation: try lying down with your eyes closed, palms up and focusing on your breathing.
  7. Look at pictures or videos of puppies/kittens (hard to stay stressed with all that cuteness).
  8. Pick a board game and engage in a fun night with your family (cards, Monopoly, Jenga, Uno).
  9. Use Skype, Google Hangouts or Facetime to video chat with your friends and family.
  10. Print out some mandalas and spend some time coloring; they’re very soothing.
  11. Read about anything that might interest you!
  • Connect with others: talk to people you trust about your concerns and feelings. We’re all on the same boat and can relate more strongly to one another.
  • Practice self-compassion: don’t be hard on yourself when you can’t shut off the fear and anxiety; fear isn’t fun but it signals that we are fully human.
  • Don’t let that fear and anxiety become pandemics too: don’t let your fear lead you into self-isolation or stop you from acting with clarity and compassion. Terrible things happen but it is possible to move forward with love and hope.
  • Remember that this too shall pass. This is not forever, it is just a moment in time. And it will pass, as all things do.