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Managing COVID-19 Anxiety to Protect Mental and Physical Health

Managing COVID-19 Anxiety to Protect Mental and Physical Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the way we live. It has forced many of us into social isolation, affected our income levels, and made it difficult to perform simple tasks like visiting the doctor.

The impact of the virus has been more severe for at-risk groups, like seniors, the disabled, and people with chronic health problems. They have understandably been feeling anxious and uncertain during this time.

While anxiety is a perfectly natural response to COVID-19, it can eventually take a toll on your physical and mental health. It exacerbates physical conditions like heart disease and can increase the risk of mental illnesses including depression.

In this article, I will share several useful tips for reducing anxiety levels. These tips will help you or a loved one feel more relaxed and in control.

Tips for Reducing Anxiety

Limit daily news intake

While staying up to date with the latest COVID-19 news is important, watching the news over and over will simply heighten your anxiety levels. Limit yourself to a couple of short news bulletins per day. You could also browse reputable news websites once or twice a day to stay abreast of the current situation.

Avoid using social media for news, as it often contains “fake” news which is designed to mislead people and trigger an emotional response. The contributions of some social media users are also designed to inflame rather than inform and may also cause anxiety.

Maintain a normal daily routine

Don’t abruptly change your daily routine unless it is absolutely necessary. If you normally spend a couple of hours in the garden each morning, continue doing it. Don’t feel like you need to stay glued to the television for updates or restrict yourself to being inside.

Continue exercising, eating well, reading books, and keeping up with your hobbies. Remember that it is perfectly fine to relax and enjoy yourself — you don’t need to constantly dwell on the impact of COVID-19.

Be Aware of the Necessary Precautions

Anxiety often occurs as a result of not knowing what to do in a certain situation. The remedy is to obtain information from experts. When it comes to COVID-19, that means using the resources provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC has an extremely informative website which includes detailed information on many topics including:

Reading these articles will help you understand the situation with complete clarity and understand the precautions you will need to take.

Maintain Your Social Connections

The strict social isolation rules which have been mandated by the government have been exceedingly difficult to deal with. For many people, these rules have increased feelings of loneliness and anxiety.

Look for opportunities to remain connected to the people around you. It’s perfectly fine to chat to your neighbor over the fence or to say hello to people who walk past your home.

You can also use technology to remain connected to friends and family members. Applications like Skype and Facetime are particularly useful and you can connect with others via social media.

Stay Active

Physical exercise is one of the best ways to ward off anxiety. Working out will focus your mind on your body instead of any repetitive or negative thoughts associated with COVID-19.

Most states still allow people to go outdoors for exercise, so take a walk to the local park or go for a bike ride. If you would prefer to stay at home, perform some bodyweight exercises, stretches, yoga, or aerobics. There are plenty of options available.

Focus on Others

Helping other people is a great way to distract the mind from the thoughts that cause anxiety. Look for ways to help your local community, donating time or money to a cause. Some of the ways that people have been helping others during this time include:

  • Performing errands on behalf of others
  • Making supplies which can be used by medical professionals (masks, face shields)
  • Calling people who are socially isolated and feeling lonely
  • Donating food or cash to charities
  • Giving free lessons online

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the act of focusing your attention on the present moment without interpretation or judgement. It is a wonderful practice for calming your mind and relieving anxiety. There are many types of mindfulness techniques, including:

  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Body scan techniques
  • Five senses exercise
  • Mindful drawing or coloring
  • Mindful eating
  • Mindful exercise

Visit Mindful.org to learn more or read 22 Mindfulness Exercises to jump straight in.

How All Heart Home Care Can Help

All Heart Home Care provides award-winning in-home care services in the San Diego county area. We offer a wide range of services, including:

  • Light housekeeping
  • Personal care
  • Errands
  • Help with grocery shopping
  • Help with laundry
  • Meal preparation
  • Assistance with exercise
  • Medication reminders
  • Transportation to doctor’s appointments
  • Companionship
  • Safety supervision

Our services help seniors deal with situations that may be causing them anxiety, like going shopping or running errands. We also ensure that the home is a clean and hygienic environment, which gives the client peace of mind during this time.

For more information on the services provided by All Heart Home Care, please contact our friendly team at (619) 736-4677.

Eric Barth
Eric Barth
CEO and blogger for All Heart Home Care. I devote myself to helping seniors age in their own home while maintaining a feeling of independence, preserve their dignity, and enhance the quality of their life. I write these blogs to help educate the public on issues surrounding what seniors find to be the most important. My blogs are from my own personal research. I hope you enjoy my blog posts.

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