Every time you choose to stay in, you’re slowing the spread of this disease – maybe just enough to free up a bed so someone that’s critically ill can be saved. It’s unbelievably important that we do, it will save lives. 

However, staying in is not without consequences. Isolation will bring anxiety and loneliness that many of us haven’t experienced before. It’s more important than ever that we look out for ourselves and our loved ones both physically and mentally, so here’s my top tips I’ve learned for helping fight the anxiety.

Media detox

Now is the time to try the detox you’re always saying you need. While social media might feel like the best way to stay in contact with your friends and family while we have to distance ourselves, it can also be depressing, aggravating and inaccurate, so make sure you are being smart about your media use: 

  1. Set a time allowance for you to be on social media and looking at the news. Giving your brain time to rationalise information can help reduce the stress and panic caused by overload. 
  2. Choose your sources wisely. Remember, your Celeb Gossip bible is not your COVID-19 bible.
  3. Filter out the negativity. Pull a full on Marie Kondo on your social media – if it doesn’t bring you joy, unfollow. POSITIVE VIBES ONLY. 

Stay active

It’s so easy to become a full on couch potato when stuck inside – you should see me on the weekends. The truth of the matter is; the less you do the less you want to do. Yoga is the perfect practice to move your body and is the OG mindfulness practice.

When you’re feeling more active, home workouts are going to be your new best friend. Grab a couple of those kilogram bags of pasta you bought and use them as weights… We both know you’re already bored of eating that plain pasta, might as well put it to good use. 

Not only does working out help relieve stress but it’ll help you sleep better and sleep is essential when dealing with stressful and intense situations. Which leads me onto my next point.

Keep your sleep routine in check

Staying up later just because you don’t have work to go to is the start of a very slippery slope – you remember how many 9am lectures you went to at uni. Get up. Shower. Get dressed and put shoes on. There’s something about putting shoes on that tells you you’re ready for the day and taking them off later is like getting home from the office. Oh, and seeing as you’re not walking anywhere, you may as well wear that pair that you’ve never been able to wear out! Silver linings!

Eat yummmmeh nutritious food

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again 90% of serotonin is made in the gut, if you’re not eating the right foods you are really going to struggle with your mood. It can be so easy to just give up with food and meals when you’re not feeling your best. But this is when you need it most! 

Remember turmeric is super calming so try steaming some with a little honey and cinnamon for a delicious turmeric latte if you’re feeling anxious. 

Organise

If you can work in a messy environment then kudos. I certainly can’t, it makes my brain feel cluttered and I find myself unable to focus. In a time where things are unpredictable it will help for the environment surrounding you to feel calm and predictable. This should improve your mood, keep you relaxed and reduce stress. 

You can start by finding somewhere to put that mountain of toilet roll you’re hoarding…

Stay connected with loved ones

Keeping in contact with your friends and family is essential if you want to stay sane. Feeling lonely is tough to deal with but staying in contact and having a laugh with your loved ones will help. We think it’s smart to use social media for your friends and family exclusively during this time – getting into arguments on facebook about conspiracy theories isn’t going to help RN. Your mumma is right – if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all. 

Finally, don’t kid yourself that you’re in touch with Auntie Kate because you know that if she was an animal, she would be a Fox. Auntie Kate – like all of us – is sat at home and would love to chat. Pick up the phone, try google hangouts or zoom. Separation might just bring you closer together.

We’re all different, nothing is going to definitely work for everyone so please don’t hunt me down if these don’t work for you! These are simply suggestions and tricks I have learnt over years spent dealing with anxiety.

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