• Health & Wellness
Suggestions for Calming Anxiety during Social Distancing

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread throughout our world, we have all been impacted. Social distancing has become our new norm. With our anxiety levels increasing, we need to keep our mind and bodies active. Because our mental and physical health have such a close relationship —when one area of our health suffers, so does the other. To help you during this time, I've compiled a list of tips, with information from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, CDC, Nature, and Positive Psychology.

  1. Accentuate the positives: Focus on what you are able to do during this time: schoolwork, cook or bake new recipes, organize your home, play with children and siblings, read a new book, or catch up on sleep.

  2. Limit your news intake: Identify your preferred news outlet and check in once or twice a day. Don’t keep the television on all day. Information is constantly changing and to watch and listen to the same news story repeatedly will increase your anxiety. For current factual information refer to the CDC and WHO websites. 
  3. Establish a daily schedule: Keeping a daily rhythm helps manage the day productively. This will help you stay focused and organized.

  4. Stay busy: Gather up the activities or get active! Take 15 minutes to go for a walk, or jog, and stretch. Moving your body is a very quick way to achieve the benefits of self-care. How about something to do indoors? Clean out a closet, organize seasonal clothes, do a puzzle, or play a new game.
  5. Check out free online workout programs: Some gyms are offering free online workouts via Zoom or on social media. Panther Performance Academy will be offering at-home options, too. 
  6. Eat well: During times of stress and anxiety it is easy to fall into negative food patterns but in order to protect ourselves and reap the benefits of the food-mood connection it is important to eat regular, balanced meals. This protects us both emotionally and physically. 


Other Self-Care Actions to Take

Self-care is essential and it requires thought and commitment. Make a plan to take care of and protect yourself by getting back to some of the fundamentals tied to wellness.   

In addition to getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating well, as well as following the tips above, here are some other self-care tips to practice:

1.     Take a mental break during the day and try a new wellness app like Calm

2.     Meditate.

3.     FaceTime or Skype to connect with others.

4.     Remind yourself to embrace positive distractions.


Additional Resources

The CDC has two resource pages for emotional health and dealing with a traumatic event.

If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline is available.  Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)


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