I’ve avoided doing a post on how lockdown isn’t all that different for many of us with chronic conditions, but I’ve actually found it to be both the same and different. It’s a stressful, difficult time for all. Maybe it has been a chance to take a pause and look after yourself, or maybe you’ve had less time than usual and it’s been too overwhelming, busy and anxiety-ridden.
Whatever your situation and however your lockdown life currently looks, stress and anxiety can take a toll. Here’s a collaborative post on managing these pressures during the coronavirus lockdown.
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With most of us housebound and confined to small spaces either alone or along with family, friends or housemates, emotions are bound to snap at one point or another. The situation that we are living through right now is completely and utterly unparalleled; it’s not a situation that any of us could ever have imagined being part of.
It’s a pandemic, a global threat. Each day on the news the death toll is announced. Hospitals are becoming overwhelmed. We have to remain at least two metres from other people and can only leave our homes for essentials. It’s almost like we are living through one of those seemingly unrealistic movies like ‘Contagion’.
Life is hard right now – there’s no getting away from that fact. Our future is currently uncertain, which means that feeling anxious and stressed out is completely normal. If you’re living with chronic illness, this uncertainty is likely nothing new. Ditto the isolation, anxiety and worry. We’re adding the difficulty with the coronavirus situation on top of what we may already be dealing with in our personal lives. While it’s normal to feel anxious and worried right now, there are some steps that you can take to make yourself feel a little better in order to help make lockdown slightly more bearable and manageable.
Manage Your Anxiety
When it comes to managing feelings of anxiety, it’s important to put a plan of action in place to make coping easier. If you allow your feelings of anxiety to continue building up, you will feel worse and worse. Instead, it is important to deal with the issue ‘head on’ and actively think about how you can manage your anxiety.
One option is to consider seeking the support of an online therapist – sometimes talking to someone objective about how you’re feeling can help you to better understand your feelings and mindset, and can make dealing with both a little easier. Not sure how to find the right therapist? Ask your doctor for a referral.
You could also opt to incorporate cbd oil into your diet to help make coping with anxiety at home, without the use of medication, a little easier. While cbd oil isn’t a cure for anxiety, it can help to reduce anxious feelings and make managing them a little easier. There are plenty of online sites where you can buy cbd oil from, so you can take back a little control over your mental wellbeing and anxiety.
Take Care Of Your Wellness
When you’re feeling overwhelmed with anxiety and stress, it’s far too easy to put your wellness on the back-burner. However, it’s important even during this difficult time that you continue to take your well being seriously.
How you look after your wellbeing will depend on your personal preferences. What helps to make you feel better? Do you enjoy practicing yoga or pilates? Does having a bubble bath or doing a facemask make you feel good? Can watching a movie, talking to a friend or decluttering reduce feelings of stress? Do arts and crafts help you to stay positive? Think about what aids your wellbeing and make sure that you are doing the things that help you to feel better. Whether it’s taking time out to read your favourite book or taking the time to learn a new recipe to cook, it doesn’t matter – you need to do what makes you feel happy.
Find Ways To Reduce Stress
At times like this, reducing stress isn’t easy. However, if you want to give your mental health a boost and make navigating your way through lockdown a little easier, you need to think about how you can reduce the amount of stress that you’re under.
A great first step to take is to limit your intake of the news. Our future is uncertain right now – watching the news constantly is not going to change that, all it’s likely going to do is make you more anxious. That’s why it’s so important that you sometimes step away from the news, both on the television and on social media. Instead of focusing on the negatives going on in the world right now, focus on the positives.
Stop putting pressure on yourself to make this time count. If you want to spend lockdown learning a new language or learning how to do advanced cooking, then that’s great. However, if you want to spend lockdown curled up reading a book or watching Netflix, that’s also fine. There’s no right or wrong way to spend this time, and it’s important to understand that and stop putting so much pressure on yourself.
By asking yourself the questions of what makes you feel better and what steps you can take right now, you can hopefully start to reduce your anxiety and stress. Even a little less worry and negativity will be of benefit to make coping through these challenging times more manageable. It’s not easy right now, but we will get through it together. Hang in there.
[ This is a collaborative post & as such the ideas expressed here are that of the author ]