Getting diagnosed with an anxiety disorder does not mean that your life becomes easy. Yes, you have a name that sums up all the emotions that you have been feeling all these years, but it cannot get rid of them anytime soon. Besides medication, you can only depend on therapy sessions to be able to function like a regular person.
Now, things have gotten a little tricky for me ever since everyone has been advised to stay at home because of the COVID-19 outbreak. A lot of businesses have been forced to shut down for a while, including my digital marketing agency. I cannot visit my family in another state due to travel restrictions, so I feel lonely at home. Worst of all, I cannot meet my therapist in person because she has moved to a family ranch in Montana since the government has announced the home quarantine policy.
My anxiety level had gone overboard, and I found it challenging to turn off my brain during the first few days of self-isolation. However, I woke up one day with the realization that I already know how to handle my emotions now more than ever. My therapist cannot continue helping me due to the circumstances, but I have gone to therapy long enough to remember what I should do whenever my anxiety attacks. While it has taken me a few more days to get over it, I no longer feel anxious about the coronavirus as much as before.
Here is how I have dealt with anxiety amid a pandemic.
Stay Away From The News
Tuning in to the news channels is vital to understand everything that you can do to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. The reports can also give you an idea of how long you need to remain isolated in the house. There is no other way to go around it—not until the experts can create an effective cure for the patients.
Despite the significance of being in the know, hearing updates about the pandemic often is not ideal for an anxious brain. What I have decided to do, therefore, is to choose one day every week when I will get the news. I prefer reading articles more than listening to news anchors on TV so that I can pick what pieces of information I can absorb.
Clean The House
I have never cleaned my house as thoroughly as I have done over the last few weeks. Every morning, I would get my rag and disinfecting solution to scrub my window ledges, doors, and doorknobs. I would also vacuum the rooms every other day, although dust does not collect on the floor too much these days. Even the walls have been washed and disinfected, and I have been able to organize my closet.
Has cleaning helped dampen my anxiety? Yes, of course. I find that there are so many chores I can do around the house daily. The time goes by unnoticed when you are cleaning everything as if you have guests coming over later that day. I don’t mind the task at all since cleaning has become my exercise and helped distract me from my negative thoughts.
Admittedly, my techniques are not 100% foolproof. Some days, I still don’t want to leave my bed or turn on the TV, afraid to hear new details about the pandemic. But then again, I try to remind myself that being anxious won’t help me survive through these odd times.
While my anxiety may never go away, at least two things can keep me from dwelling too much in my head amid a pandemic. That’s more than I can ask for, I must say.