How to Lower Anxiety & Create Peace During COVID-19

In this season of isolation, furloughs, unemployment and out-of-stock grocery shelves during the COVID-19 crisis, it is easy and understandable to feel alone, increased anxiety and fear. One must choose between going for fresh groceries or staying home and making due with what is in the freezer; to wear gloves or not to wear gloves; to wear a mask and walk up and down the isles or plan a week ahead and have the store employees shop for you. Can I afford the extra expense to have the store shop for me? With homeschooling the children, 24/7 parenting, working from home and transitioning workspace and additional roles, how can one find peace of mind? Below are three simple ways to decrease anxiety and increase your overall well-being and peace during this stressful and uncertain time.

Self-Care

1. Peace can be found in 5-10 minutes of self-care planned into your day. If your only alone time is in the bathroom, then it can take place in the bathroom; but it needs to be intentional time spent. This can be repeated as many times as needed throughout the day.

Remember to Breathe

2. Taking time to slow down and breath, stepping away from all the needs and requirements on the other side of the closed door, is proven to lower your stress levels and give you increased ability to manage the daily anxiety load. The instructions are as follows:

  • Take several deep cleansing breathes to prepare your body.
  • Notice your neck and shoulders allowing the stress to release more deeply with each cleansing breath.
  • Scale what level of anxiety you are currently feeling from 1-10 (1 is low; 10 is high)
  • Imagine a picture frame starting in the lower right corner
  • Inhale counting to four as your eyes raise to the top right corner of the frame
  • Hold for a count of four as your eyes scan to the top left corner of the frame
  • Exhale counting to four as your eyes fall to the bottom left corner of the frame
  • Hold for a count of four as your eyes scan to the bottom right corner of the frame
  • Repeat 3 times
  • Scale what level of anxiety you are currently feeling from 1-10 (1 is low; 10 is high)

Talk to a Friend

3. Finding someone to talk to whether over the phone, text, or zoom, can be very effective in lowering anxiety. If it is over the phone and you have the opportunity, going for a walk can be extremely beneficial. Laughing, sharing and hearing another person’s voice and seeing their face can be therapeutic.

Many people will experience lower levels of anxiety and increased levels of peace to manage stress brought on by the COVID-19 Pandemic by exercising intentional alone time, completing the 4x4x4x4 breathing technique and connecting with friends and loved ones over the phone or internet. Look for things for which to laugh (e.g., watch comedies on TV, tell some of your favorite jokes) and relish in the beauty of nature. For additional information describing well-being, please read my blog What is Well-Being. You may also find my blog Anxiety – When to Seek Counseling helpful. If you find that you need further assistance to lower your anxiety and to increase your peace, please feel free to contact me to make an appointment at your nearest convenience.

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Connie@FreedomsHopeCounseling.com
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