Coping With Anxiety & Stress During Lockdown

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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. 

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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. 

A woman smiling, holding a remote control watching the TV and eating popcorn, with popcorn all down her jumper.

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.

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[ This is a collaborative post & as such the ideas expressed here are that of the author ]

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28 Comments

  1. April 19, 2020 / 4:13 pm

    Very well done Caz ! You have covered all the pertinent steps to deal with during this coronavirus pandemic. Glad to see you are still helping others with your optimistic blogs. God bless you Caz xx

  2. Ashley
    April 19, 2020 / 4:24 pm

    That’s a really important point about limiting news intake. Just because a ton of catastrophic news reports are out there doesn’t mean we have to read them.

  3. April 19, 2020 / 4:31 pm

    Great advice. We will all get through this if we remember are aren’t in it alone, and there are ways to reduce the stress!

  4. April 19, 2020 / 7:35 pm

    While this virus and all the changes are scary, what we are going through is so minor compared to contagion (that was some quick scary ass shit) Thank you for sharing all the items under ways to reduce stress…great tips…..especially limiting the news. Personally, I am heartbroken that I can’t see my grandkids, but while that feels like the end of the world to me, LOGICALLY I know it’s not. And there are so many examples of people that have it worse. I could not imagine being a high school senior that had to miss prom or not attend a graduation. At 17 things like that were my entire world. I hope you are doing well. Thank you again for the post 🙂

    • April 20, 2020 / 3:15 pm

      A really good point about how the things we struggle with or miss out on change as we age and through different periods of our lives. I think the way to look at it is always the greater good, the way that missing out on something for pleasure now is of lesser importance in the grand scheme of things than loss of life. Just to get perspective. There’s no denying that missing some things are heartbreaking, but the stuff like going to coffee shops or the cinema I have little empathy for. I’m sorry you’re missing out on seeing your grandkids, that must be really tough. Can you do the video chat stuff online with them? I hope so, so you can be together even when you’re apart. Hang in there lovely xx

  5. April 19, 2020 / 7:38 pm

    Congratulations, Caz, it’s a great post and I’m sure many people will take solace in it. 😀😀x

  6. April 19, 2020 / 9:30 pm

    Great and interesting post, as always

  7. April 20, 2020 / 4:00 am

    BRILLIANT post, Caz! I am so proud of you for sharing with honesty and hopefulness how you’re feeling right now! I am so sorry that you’ve been suffering through anxiety and overwhelm though. Words can’t express how that breaks my heart! Please know that I am sending you lots of virtual hugs, even if they don’t do much! My prayers are also with you.

    Your tips are spot on, and I believe they will help MANY many people cope with what they’re currently experiencing. There’s no denying, just like you said, these are unprecedented and bizarre times. Much has changed. It is shaking the ‘normal.’ In many cases, I think that’s a good thing. Some of how we had been carrying on as a culture was unsustainable and unhealthy to begin with. Yet there will be some blessed reunions too; easily finding hygiene products again, reuniting loved ones, etc.

    I love that you mentioned CBD oil as an aid for anxiety and mental health concerns. Honestly, I’d always thought it was just another ‘trendy’ product that would soon pass by. Recently I have been giving it a try and it has helped more than I could ever begin to say. The key is finding the right one at the right dosage. Too small of a dosage does very little to help. Finding the ‘sweet spot’ for your own body chemistry makes all the difference. As does the quality control of the product itself. I sincerely believe in the management of chronic pain and mental health – high quality, correct potency, CBD oil (and its variants) will change lives. Hemp oil capsules are wonderful too and less expensive. The omega 3 content is extremely high and protects much of our brain and other vital organs.

    Stopping the overwhelming news intake is a wonderful reminder too, Caz. Other than being informed, we turn it off completely. It serves absolutely no purpose except to fuel the flames of worry. All we can control is us. Sometimes that’s a scary thought, yet oddly comforting at the same time.

    You’re also right about not putting pressures and expectations on ourselves at this time that are too heavy to carry. It’s okay to take some downtime and simply process (or not) what’s happening. Honoring how we feel, while also not getting stuck in a bad place emotionally is key. Investing our excess energy into something productive and good helps more than anything. I’ve been offline 99% of the time, as we’ve been working on our plant nursery business for the Spring & Fall. Getting outside made a world of difference for me. Fresh air is very healing.

    You’ve done another amazing job here, Caz. Please know that I am ALWAYS here for you and I am sending you nothing but my very best healing love! 🌺

    • April 20, 2020 / 3:58 pm

      Aww I’m so glad you liked the post – thank you, Holly! And it’s amaaaaazing that you’re finding benefit from CBD, that’s fantastic! I’ve got a CBD post coming up on Weds/Thurs this week actually and I’ll be reviewing some new CBD products soon. Watch this space! I hope it can continue to be of benefit because every little helps. I think a lot of people have been struggling with the bad news overload, so reducing how much you take on board (from any source like social media or the radio, too) might be a good idea.

      I think getting outside in your garden or, for you, your nursery business, safely taking comfort in nature and refreshing yourself in the open air is a wonderful air. Lots of hugs & love right back at’cha, Holly. Take good care of yourself & stay safe  ♥ xx

  8. April 20, 2020 / 5:24 am

    Well done, Caz; your tips are spot on!
    xoxoxo

  9. April 20, 2020 / 9:01 am

    I’m finding making my weekly trip to the supermarket the biggest cause of my stress and anxiety. It starts the night before and leaves me totally drained for the whole day. Nothing I can do about it though, there doesn’t seem to be any online delivery slots where I am.

    • April 20, 2020 / 4:30 pm

      Oh Jo, I’m sorry you’re still having to go to the supermarket too. I’m in the ‘extremely vulnerable’ category and had some supermarkets email me to say I’ve got priority delivery… but there are zero slots at all for delivery or collection, bar one slot I found with 99% of things out of stock. Impossible, so I’m still having to do the supermarket too and I get what you mean about exhausting. It’s also because we’re having to be constantly on our guard and there’s a lot more involved now with cleaning everything when we get home, too. Do you have a mask? The only thing I can think to suggest is to try various supermarkets at different times of the day just in case you get lucky in finding one, but I’ve been doing that for ages with no joy. Weds/Thurs seem to be the least busy days around 11-12pm around here if that helps, I refuse to go on Fridays now as they seem manic. Stay safe, Jo xx

  10. April 20, 2020 / 12:37 pm

    Thank you for these tips. I’m fortunate enough to live in the country so I can step outside without worry.

  11. April 20, 2020 / 1:25 pm

    Very good advice on ways to deal with the stress and anxiety we are all feeling now. Thanks, Caz!

  12. April 20, 2020 / 4:28 pm

    Thank you Caz. Your tips are very helpful for these surreal times. I am so thankful for all my blog and social media friends. Such supportive communities. xx

  13. April 20, 2020 / 4:58 pm

    Great post, Caz. Re: CBD oil: how do you know it doesn’t negatively affect other meds you take?

    Whether or not one is a meditator (I am), I recommend the Ten Percent Happier videos on YouTube. Though I paid for a phone app some time ago, these are all free. They consist of some of the best mindfulness teachers delivering straight talk about how they’re handling these events, followed by very brief meditations, and then Q and As from the public, which are often the most enlightening.

    Stay safe, everybody!

    • April 20, 2020 / 5:06 pm

      Thanks for the tip on the Ten Percent Happier videos, I’ll have to check those out.

      An excellent to raise, Anne, re: CBD & drug interactions. I’d always say check with your GP or pharmacist first, and a Google search for reliable sources of information is a good idea too. CBD can interact with some medications or supplements in different ways, and I’ve read previously of how the rule of thumb is to avoid CBD if the medication has a grapefruit warning. There are some side-effects to look out for too. While CBD is generally safe on its own and with most medications, it’s still important to keep the possibility of interactions in mind. Healthline has further information : https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-and-drug-interactions-what-you-need-to-know#side-effects

  14. April 20, 2020 / 10:28 pm

    Great advice here! I especially like the tip about not putting pressure on yourself to accomplish a lot of goals or make this time “useful.” Sometimes, just getting through the day is enough. 🙂

  15. April 21, 2020 / 1:58 pm

    It’s a wonderful post. I believe we all are trying to settle down with the situation but sometimes despite all efforts we go through the negative thoughts. Probably no one ever expected that the life would take a U turn for humans despite all our scientific achievements we boast.

  16. April 21, 2020 / 7:59 pm

    Wonderful post Caz on handling our feelings as we go through this difficult time. Thank you 🙂

  17. April 22, 2020 / 1:28 pm

    A great post Caz! I have found CBD Oil really beneficial to my mental health and fatigue since I started taking it 6 months ago. I have taken up learning sign language and doing an online archaeology course but I also like to relax in my free time so I think a combination of achieving something and resting/relaxing is the perfect combination for my own mental health and wellbeing x

  18. April 22, 2020 / 4:20 pm

    You always have such excellent advice. I feel like I really needed to read this today. 🙂

  19. April 22, 2020 / 8:38 pm

    Brilliant post, Caz.

    Physically, my life isn’t much different. But, I hate not being able to see my Dad. Thank goodness for phones!

    Mentally, it’s draining. Not the actual lockdown, but the worry about the virus. I have never suffered from anxiety in my life before this. But this is all so overwhelming and I constantly worry about my Dad, my in-laws and other family. For the last few days, I’ve been trying to switch off from it. Obviously, I couldn’t switch off completely, but I had to try to calm myself down. Back to back episodes of Friends and some good movies helped.

    It’s a difficult time for everyone. I hope you’re managing ok.

  20. April 23, 2020 / 1:24 pm

    I really, really love the point of don’t pressure yourself to make this time count. I think that’s a great and important reminder-especially for those of us with chronic illness that often feel like we’ve failed already. It’s one more way to beat ourselves up unnecessarily. Great post, with some really helpful points. Thanks Caz!!!

  21. April 27, 2020 / 2:13 am

    This is such a nice post I especially like the part you mention not to feel pressured you are not doing enough. Most of us are unknowingly going through enough just hearing about all the happenings around and easy to feel distracted . Thanks for sharing .

  22. April 27, 2020 / 7:25 am

    Thank you so much for this post, I really needed to read it today. It is definitely a tough time at the moment, I hope you are keeping safe and well xx lots of love

    Susie

  23. April 29, 2020 / 10:13 pm

    I like your tips; doing what pleases you works for me 🙂 I find walking most beneficial, well, striding, really, if not down the beach or in a park then through a large shopping mall when there is plenty of ground to travel

  24. May 4, 2020 / 8:26 pm

    “Stop putting pressure on yourself to make this time count”. -My problem… I’m getting a lot better though. My anxiety and stress have lessened a lot since the beginning of the pandemic. I have to get some cbd oil.

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