How to manage COVID-19 anxiety

10 ways to keep calm & carry on during COVID-19

In these unprecedented times, it’s only natural to feel more anxious, agitated, emotional, and just not like yourself. Here’s what you can do to stay grounded in the face of…

In these unprecedented times, it’s only natural to feel more anxious, agitated, emotional, and just not like yourself. Here’s what you can do to stay grounded in the face of uncertainty, whether you’re self-isolating, working from home, or still required to go to work; to everyone on the frontline, we can’t thank you enough. 

1. Instead of coffee, drink green or black tea

Tea really is the solution to everything. Providing a pick-me-up without the coffee jitters, both green and black tea are rich in L-theanine, a calming amino acid that also promotes mental clarity. 

2. Avoid information overload

Remove the temptation to continually refresh the news by putting your phone out of sight. Schedule a daily time to update yourself on the COVID-19 situation; so that you can start and end your day on a positive note, it’s best not to do this upon waking or before you hit the hay. 

3. Connect virtually 

We’re fortunate to live in a time where we can connect with others at the click of a button. Make a point of reaching out to loved ones each day, schedule video catchups like you would a coffee or lunch date, or lock in your next therapy session via Skype, Facetime, or Google Hangouts (it’s free!).  

4. Clear the clutter

As happiness guru Gretchen Rubin says, outer order creates inner calm. If you’re feeling flustered while you’re at home, take a look around; putting that laundry away, packing the dishwasher, or giving your place a good vacuum and mop might just be what the doctor ordered.   

5. Read

A lot of things are cancelled at the moment, but reading isn’t one of them. Swap mindless scrolling through social media for curling up with a good book that gets you out of your head.   

6. Create a calming daily ritual

Establish one thing you’re going to do at the same time each day to help you feel more centred; that might be 10 minutes of stretching or meditation upon waking, setting aside 15 minutes for a distraction-free nourishing breakfast, or taking a walk on your lunch break somewhere quiet. Whatever gives you comfort, do that. 

7. Bake 

It’s the best kind of therapy: it helps take your mind off your worries, and you’ll have something delicious to eat after. 

8. Move your body every day

We all know how helpful exercise can be for lifting your mood. If you’re not self-quarantining, a walk or jog, or even doing your yoga practice out in the fresh air can do wonders for your mood (just make sure to do this in a large open area to maintain social distancing). Home-workouts like yoga, barre, pilates, and dance classes can easily be done online, with more and more studios now streaming their classes live, often at no cost.

9. Tackle tasks 

Now is the time to organise your tax return, file those papers, sort through your photos, organise your wardrobe, or do that spring clean (spring, or not). Whatever the nagging task at hand is, you’ll feel so much better for ticking it off your list. Again, outer order can mean inner calm. 

10. Be kind to yourself 

We’re all in uncharted territory. Don’t be hard on yourself if you haven’t yet ‘perfected’ your daily routine in this new normal. Tomorrow is a new day and an opportunity to put some, or even just one calming practice into action.

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Published: 27/03/20

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