It seems like each passing day brings new updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. Your daily routine probably looks a little different than it did a couple of months ago. Maybe your children are now home from school, and you’re trying to balance working from home with homeschooling and childcare. Perhaps you’ve even brought an elderly love one home from an assisted living community for their protection. Or maybe you’ve found yourself unemployed, and you’re nervous about whether or not you’ll be able to pay your bills in the coming weeks.
If you’re dealing with anxiety due to COVID-19, you might find some solace in practicing mindfulness. Here’s how being mindful can help you cope with all of the disruptions in the midst of this pandemic.
1. Staying in the Moment
Do you often find yourself wondering about the future date when social distancing restrictions will be lifted? How about worrying about what things will look like come this fall? Worrying about the future is likely contributing to your anxiety. On the other hand, being mindful will help you stay focused on the present moment.
2. Focusing on Things You Can Control
Right now, so much is out of our control. It can be very difficult to accept this. We don’t know when we will be able to make plans with our loved ones again. We’re all wondering when we can reschedule our events. It can feel like there isn’t much you can about the larger situation at hand. Instead, shift your energy and focus to the things that you can control.
3. Cultivating Gratitude
There’s no point in beating around the bush – this is a difficult time. You might feel like you don’t have much to be grateful for. Being mindful can help you focus on the small, positive aspects of our current situation. Maybe you spent some time calling your loved ones. Or maybe you were able to relax in a bubble bath or cook a delicious meal in your kitchen. Right now, being grateful for all that we have is key.
4. Reducing Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety can lead to all kinds of debilitating physical symptoms. Over the past few months, you might have experienced a racing heartbeat, nausea and indigestion, fatigue, headaches, or even panic attacks. You might also catch yourself worrying that those anxiety symptoms are early signs of coronavirus. But practicing mindfulness can help you alleviate those symptoms and bring you peace of mind.
5. Improving Your Sleep
Have you been tossing and turning night after night since the pandemic began? Do you find yourself feeling exhausted when your head hits the pillow, but you wake up in the middle of the night panicking anyway? Struggling with insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns are other common symptoms of anxiety. Practicing mindfulness by meditating before bedtime can help you sleep soundly at night.
6. Problem Solving Skills
We’re all dealing with problems we’ve never faced before. We need to use our critical thinking skills and exercise good judgment to face these new situations. But when you’re anxious, you can feel like you have brain fog. Your decision-making skills aren’t quite as sharp. You might end up making choices that hurt you in the long-term solely because of your anxiety. By making an effort to be mindful, you can maintain a clear mindset and make smart choices during this tough time.
Everyone has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in one way or another, and if you feel like you’re struggling, you’re certainly not alone. Talking to a therapist can make it easier to deal with all of these changes. Reach out to us today to discuss your options if you would like to schedule your first sessions.