Combating Anxiety in the Wake of COVID-19

19 Mar 2020

by Allison Craun

Hi March Friends,

With so many unknowns, you may be experiencing some type of anxiety. 

There’s no shame in admitting that, and you certainly not alone. I myself have been feeling anxious ever since the start of quarantine. The world is in a panic right now. The grocery shelves are empty, people are fighting over toilet paper, and we are all on a “shelter-in-place”. 

I attend Fresno State University and my school has made the decision to switch to online instruction for the rest of the semester. I prefer a more hands-on learning style, but unfortunately that is no longer possible. This leaves me feeling very anxious, and I have tons of questions that are flooding my brain. Will I pass my classes?  When will this virus go away so I can go to the gym again? Will I be able to eat at a restaurant any time soon? 

Did you know that every thought you have, chemicals are released that affect your brain and body? Negative thoughts create panic, fear, and headaches but it seems almost impossible to think happy thoughts when all I see on my timeline are new coronavirus cases appearing every day. 

I had to take a step back, this past week I’ve been limiting my time spent on social media and I have started to find ways to manage how I have been feeling. 

I found 3 go-to tips to help eliminate my anxiety during a time of unknowns. I hope these tips will help you as well.

  1. Focus on what you can control. Start each day creating a To-Do list of at least 5 tasks. Tasks can range anywhere from brushing your teeth to painting a picture. Physically cross off each task as you complete it, this will help you to stay focused on your day to day activities. You now have significantly more time in your day, so it is important that you don’t get overwhelmed or lost in hours of binge-watching Netflix.
  2. Listen to a new podcast! The podcast doesn’t have to necessarily be educational, but having some background noise on while talking a walk, or making some lunch will help you control your thoughts on something else. (I find that constantly being on social media makes my anxiety about the virus worse since that is all that I’m seeing on my timeline) I enjoy listening to The Office Ladies podcast while going for a walk around the block. This way I still get my Office fix in (yes I am an Office superfan) while getting in some daily movement to get the blood pumping throughout my body. 
  3. Can’t think of what to do? Try having a glass of water. When I was in high school, I found that during the week I was perfectly hydrated but on the weekends I would get headaches and be super tired. I was so used to carrying a water bottle around from class to class, that when I was home all day, I forgot to drink water. Staying hydrated has helped me deal with my anxiety. To the point where anytime I feel anxious I immediately pour myself a glass of water. According to Medical News Today,  “Dehydration can affect brain structure and function. It is also involved in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. Prolonged dehydration can lead to problems with thinking and reasoning.” So stay hydrated, friends. 

I hope these tips help you during this time of social distancing. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments. At March Consulting, we are here for you! 

Oh… and remember to wash your hands!

Best,

Allison Craun 

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