I Have Anxiety—Here's How I'm Dealing With it During Quarantine
Life during quarantine isn't easy on any of us.
Even if you consider yourself to be an introvert, I'm willing to bet you, too, have been hit with waves of uncertainty and even anxiety. For me, anxiety is something I've dealt with for quite some time now. Suffering from this is something I've kept under wraps, acting like it wasn't a big deal for most of my life. And while all of us—yes, all of us—endure certain levels of anxiety, those of us who are diagnosed with it experience it on a different spectrum. So, if you've been diagnosed with anxiety, we're on the same boat.
During these super strange times, the coronavirus has impacted all of us in one way or another. Like a lot of you, for the time being, I'm in quarantine. When things started getting really bad (before the official quarantine), my anxiety reached new highs. I was vulnerable, cried a lot (even at work), didn't trust my instincts and wanted to stay in bed, pretending like the destruction going on outside wasn't really happening.
If you've never experienced anxiety or depression, my reactions might seem overdramatic to you. From the outside looking in, I'm sure I came across as frantic, scared and uneasy (all of which is true). Now that I've been in lockdown for a few weeks, it's started to become the new normal—but it hasn't necessarily gotten any easier. Here are a few ways I've tried to ease my anxiety:
1. Wake Up at My Normal Time
First things first, I've consistently set my alarm for the same time I did pre-quarantine. And while I definitely snooze it more these days, I'm still taking the step to get up at a decent hour. Over-sleeping is one of the worst things I can do for myself. We're all different, but I notice I'm more irritated and on-edge when I get too much sleep.
I'm not the yoga, Buddha-worshipping type, but I do practice my own form of meditation. When I wake up each morning, I like to take a few super deep breaths and prepare myself for the day. I roll out of bed, do a few stretches to wake myself up, crack my back and think of a few things that give me a reason to be grateful.
3. Work on a Puzzle
There's something about concentrating on a puzzle that just relaxes me. After I get over my initial, "This is too hard, I give up," moment of weakness, I tackle it headfirst. There's a lot of concentration and patience that goes into putting together a puzzle, but it's probably the thing that's helped me way more than I initially would have thought possible.
4. Play With My Dog
My dog is the literal light of my life. I seriously love her so much, it's wild! She brings so much joy not only to my life, but to everyone in my family, as well. She loves to cuddle with me when I'm feeling down and play fetch when we both need to get rid of some excess energy. If you have a pet, cherish the extra time you have together.
5. FaceTime My Friends
Since we can't see our friends in person, I've made sure to keep in touch with them on FaceTime or Zoom. A group of us started doing a weekly coffee date, where we'd update each other on our work, home and love lives. It's nice to feel a bit normal during these times, and I have my friends to thank for that.
6. Work Out Four Days a Week
I've noticed over the years that I'm a completely different person when I regularly work out. Getting to the gym or class is always the hardest part for me. I have to force myself to go, but once the sesh is over, I feel fantastic. And while I can't hit up the gym, I can workout at home. I've made a promise to myself to do this four days a week… which, in the grand scheme of things, isn't that much. After all, what else do I have to do?
7. Read Every Night
I've been an avid reader since high school, thanks to my handy dandy Kindle. Before lockdown, I was already reading every night, so I've kept up with this tradition of mine. Stimulating my brain before I go to bed is very important to me. And while I'm not reading the next great American novel, my murder mysteries and sci-fi books are good enough for me!
8. Find Something That Makes Me Laugh
Since these are some pretty dark times we're living in, it's more important than ever to find a light at the end of the tunnel. It's not hard to find something that makes me laugh. Whether I watch YouTube, read a humorous blog or scroll through my TikTok feed, I've found a way to giggle every day.
On the hunt for ways to sweat during quarantine? HERE are some of the best at-home workouts by our fave fitness influencers.