Quarantine anxiety is a huge negative side effect of COVID-19.
Whether we are fully addicted to stress, or just face a few uncomfortable moments every day, anxiety is a natural part of our lives. We all face anxiety under normal circumstances, from deadlines at our job, to problems in our relationships, and even small things like what to make for dinner when there is nothing in the cabinets but instant rice and abandoned dreams.
Dealing with the added pressure of a global pandemic, plus being locked in our homes with our children and their energy, is enough to drive any sane mom crazy!
COVID-19 is an unprecedented global event, so it’s no surprise that it would have a negative effect on our mental health. That being said, our mental health is as important (if not more so) than our physical health. Anxiety starts in the brain, but can create very negative side effects for the body, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and a weak immune system.
There are plenty of medical options to treat anxiety, but learning to combat stress naturally is more beneficial in the long run, especially in terms of managing your own emotional responses.
Here are five ways to fight anxiety without pills:
Journaling. When I say journaling, I just mean ‘writing’. Writing down your feelings helps you organize them, and come to conclusions that lead to breakthroughs. In my mind it is the best form of self-reflection, and highly beneficial to your mental health. Just don’t be afraid to cross out any mistakes, write as if nobody will ever read your words, and don’t stress yourself out about length. If you can write 3 sentences per day, you are doing great!
Aromatherapy. When it comes to our moods, our noses can have a big impact. Lavender, and other plant oils have been shown to reduce your heart rate, and help you sleep. Even taking the time to inhale the oils will help you concentrate on breathing and take your mind off your stress.
READ MORE: Unusual Ways to Relieve Stress
Exercise. I put this in the middle of the list, even though it is the most effective. Stressed out? Go running, or biking, or swimming, or even walking. Physical movement clears your mind. Concentrating on something other than your stress helps you see how ridiculous it actually is.
Animals. Research shows that spending time with animals is beneficial to people who suffer from mental health issues, especially stress. If you don’t have pets, volunteering at an animal shelter, or offering to pet-sit are two ways you can get the benefits without the responsibility.
Meditation. I know meditation is stressful, which may seem counter-productive. But meditation is only stressful because it works, and your body gets so hopped up on cortisol that it doesn’t want to relax. For the sake of this article, meditation is just turning your phone off, and sitting quietly for 15 minutes. If you can do that, you will feel some of the benefits of actual meditation.
Or at the very least you will have proven that your anxiety can’t stop you from focusing.