Up until now, things have pretty much been on lockdown to keep everyone safe. Even though you have adjusted to staying home, you can’t wait for things to be normal again.
But progressing back to normal means a whole other phase: re-opening.
Though a vaccine and medication are still in the works, many states are looking to reopen. Naturally, as we leave the safety of our homes and enter a world recovering from a pandemic, this may bring up some anxieties.
Here are five ways to manage your anxieties during re-opening:
- Limit Social Media and News Consumption
Any social media or news outlet is meant to capture your attention and feed the news cycle. Though it is good to keep up to date with the latest changes, limiting your social media and news intake can help manage your anxiety. Constantly listening to negative media perspectives may worsen your worries and trigger your fears. Therefore, restrict your time on certain sites or keep tabs on your overall media use to control consumption.
- Grounding techniques
As you go back out into the wide and wild world, remember a few mindfulness techniques for moments when facing crowds and sitting closer than six feet apart trigger your anxiety. You may be fearing catching the virus from the crowds, or your family getting sick after your visit to the mall or feel guilty for even wanting to go out. These thoughts may cause your heart rate to increase, your cheeks to feel flushed, and you may even start to feel nauseous, all physiological symptoms of anxiety.
Grounding may help you get your mind and body to calm back to baseline. A simple yet very effective is called the 5-4-3-2-1 method. This method simply asks you to observe your present surroundings and name:
- 5 things you can see
- 4 things you can hear
- 3 things you can feel
- 2 things you can smell
- 1 thing you could taste
The idea is for you to slow down and distract your racing mind by pulling your thoughts back to the present.
- Deep Breathing
Another way to get your body and mind back to baseline is deep breathing. Deep breathing allows more oxygen into your body and relaxes your state of mind. Even if you are in public, take a moment to close your eyes and practice some deep breaths.
Maintaining a regular exercise regime can be a major difference in managing anxiety. Studies have shown that exercise may help to alleviate some symptoms and, for some people, work as well as some medications.
Exercise has also proven to be an effective way to manage stress. After a workout, you release endorphins, a feel-good hormone that has lasting effects on your mood and boosts your energy.
- If you need someone to talk to, consider therapy
If your symptoms of anxiety are really interfering with your ability to transition to re-opening and find it difficult to cope, do not hesitate to seek the help of a mental health professional.
Therapists can help work with your anxieties through therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy. Each has proven to work when dealing with phobias and anxieties.
Contact me so that I can partner with you to help provide the tools necessary to help you manage anxiety related to the state re-opening. Whatever you are feeling during this time, know that you are not alone in your worries and concerns of sharing the same spaces with other people. This is the time to develop healthy and safe ways to transition back to normal. Let’s start the journey together.