By Rachel Lankester
Resources and tips for managing coronavirus anxiety
I’ve been finding the pandemic all a bit much, I have to confess. I have a tendency to withdraw as my coping mechanism and coronavirus anxiety has led me to do that on overdrive! Not because I’m scared of the virus itself but because I’m feeling overwhelmed by the impact it’s having on others and our day to day life. And our futures.
But then I feel pathetic for being so pathetic. I’m not on the front line. I’m safe at home and I have a garden – how lucky am I! My inner critic is having a field day. I wish she’d just shut up!
And then I try to rationalize and realize that judging myself doesn’t get me very far either. We all have our own ways of dealing with this situation. Maybe if I was on the front line and used to being there, I wouldn’t be such a wet blanket! Who knows!
But it sure is a worrying time. I’ve been seriously drawing on my midlife toolkit to support me. Here are the resources I use and my tips for managing coronavirus anxiety:
- Mindfulness meditation is something I’m increasingly a fan of. Jack Kornfield’s coronavirus anxiety meditations: Compassion and Steady Heart (also available on Soundcloud) have been very comforting.
- The Tapping Solution App This is an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) app and they have made all their coronavirus tapping meditations free. I don’t know how this works but it really does – even my hub has given it a go, under sufferance! It’s great for insomnia too.
- If you fancy deepening an existing meditation practice or exploring Buddhist meditation, Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village Mediation App is also free to download. There’s a beautiful meditation called Be Still And Heal.
- Square/box breathing is simple but so effective. Breathe in for 4, hold for 4, breath out for 4, hold for 4. Repeat.
- Helen Wills (who I interviewed recently on the podcast) has written a great blog post: 10 Ways to Cope with Coronavirus Anxiety
- Try Morning Pages each morning – write out your worries on paper and get them out of your head. You might also find some real creative inspiration there.
- Try and reduce your exposure to news and social media. It’s natural to want to stay informed but at the moment, that can sometimes sure be just too much! Just switch it off and listen to some soothing music instead. Dreamland (piano music) by Alexis French on Spotify is totally working for me the moment.
- Try not to catastrophize. It won’t do you any good. And will just make you more anxious. So worry about what you can control and try to ditch worrying about the rest.
- Exercise is great for anxiety and stress. You may not be able to get out much in the fresh air at present, but try an online Zumba class at home, jump around to your favorite fast music or follow along to a yoga class on YouTube. Yoga by Adrienne is always highly recommended in the community.
In the past I’ve consulted members of my private Facebook group The Flock for their favorite natural remedies for hormone-related anxiety and these are some of the ideas they gave me. All are worth a try and Amazon may still deliver the supplements if you can’t get them easily near you at present.
“Mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises and running. Valerian drops. Passiflora.”
“Magnesium supplements. Any of the following essential oils in bath water or a diffuser: marjoram, cedarwood, sandalwood, or comforting chamomile. Naturally caffeine free rooibos tea.” ( I’d add lavender and geranium oils to that list.)
“Anxiety can eat you away from the inside. Finding what works for you means really reaching inside yourself and it’s hard work. For me personally, finding mindfulness meditation was a game changer.”
“Look at your diet. Reduce sugar, eat super healthy, cut out alcohol, get lots of fresh air (maybe later!) and take Vitamin D.”
Check out this Mindfulness – Why It’s Amazing article.
Click here to read The Wonders of Magnesium and Why We Need It
I hope these tips are useful. Remember this too shall pass! Don’t forget to breathe! Deeply. The air is a lot cleaner these days so you can afford to!
In the meantime, stay safe, stay sane and if you’re feeling a bit nesh like me, go easy on yourself and just do what you can. One day at a time I reckon.
We’ll all be stronger at the end of this.
You may also like Coronavirus Help And Information and 10 Tips for Staying Sane During Coronavirus