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Hi everyone! I hope you are doing good. It has been a crazy year till now, hasn’t it??
Personally, I had my Dance Movement Therapy Program going on in the entire month of February, when the news of COVID-19 was fairly new.
I currently reside in Singapore, which was one of the first countries to get affected by the Coronavirus.
Singapore saw COVID-19 cases extremely early, and people were in such state of panic! All the grocery stores and malls were flooded with people trying to buy things and hoard them!
Singapore saw some bizzare cases- a woman carrying 10 packs of 10 kg rice, i.e 100 kgs of rice, someone had ordered 800 kgs of items from the online store called redmart and so on!
There was a point where it became tough for us to find any daily grocery items. The mall racks were empty, the online stores ran out of supplies, it was a total state of chaos!
Amid that I had my weekly program sessions going on, which few of the participants were hesitant to attend due to the virus scare.
It’s 7th of April today, and the panic around COVID-19 has increased instead of dying down. The number of cases have significantly risen in Singapore.
The WHO has declared it a pandemic and from what I gather, countries like Italy, Germany & the UK & US have been severely hit and people are suffering. My heart goes out to everyone suffering. India has been under a total lockdown as I write this.
In Singapore, today marks the first day of ‘Circuit Breaking’ of the virus which means that it is a partial lockdown here, with everything operating minimally and people working from home.
There are some people who are still hoarding unnecessary amounts of food and grocery but the magnitude has lessened than the initial phase and the Singapore Government is doing a great job and doing it’s best in spreading awareness and taking measures to contain the virus.
Since I have had to indefinitely postpone the last session of my DMT Program, I am currently keeping myself updated with what is going around and taking precautions against the virus.
The last few days have been a bit tough for me and since I am quite sensitive to the vibes around me, I have been feeling quite anxious and restless.
I haven’t been feeling like writing posts on my blog and have posted very little of content on my YouTube Channel until now.
Now that I am finally managing my anxiety and keeping my thoughts in check and coping better with what is happening worldwide, I am writing a blog post on how to manage anxiety during this time.
I am sure I am not the only one who has been feeling a bit lost or anxious or depressed. The world is collectively going through a lot of mental stress. It is important that we address this anxiety in order to function better during this time.Our mental health during such a time is as important as our physical health.
Here are some ways to manage anxiety & other negative emotions:
We all keep cribbing that we don’t have time to get enough sleep due to our hectic schedules. Now that we have some time on our hands, we really need to focus on getting our body clocks right and resetting our bio-rythms.
Sleep is a good way to reduce anxiety as well as optimize our health.
It is important to sleep just the right amount. Too less sleep can increase your anxiety levels and fire up your stress hormone (cortisol) whereas too much of sleep can make you lethargic and dull and you will end up feeling depressed and less productive.
The ideal sleep time would be 7-8 hours.
2. Gratitude & Focus on Positivity
Being grateful for what we have in our lives can surely help reduce anxiety. It could be the smallest of the thing like eating your favourite fruit or having a good place to stay. There are so many unfortunate people out there and now is the best time to count your blessings!
When we are grateful for whatever we have in life, our mind shifts it’s focus from the negative things around us and we realize we have so much more than we acknowledge.
Gratitude is the key to reduce anxiety. As our mind focuses on what we have instead of what we lack, our stress levels go down and we experience a surge of happy emotions.
Also, reducing our consumption of news via television or other channels is extremely essential. Of course staying abreast of all that is happening is important, but it is also necessary to not be bogged down by too much information & negative news.
Focusing on positive news/happenings and being grateful for whatever we have definitely helps in reducing anxiety.
Maintaining a gratitude journal or writing inspiring & positive quotes on post-it notes is a great way to keep yourself positive.
So, what are you grateful for today?
3. Creativity & Hobbies
Now, when was the last time you pursued your hobby or tried your hand at something new?
Like I mentioned previously, being at home and having time on your hands is what most of us wished for,didn’t we?
Now that we actually have the time, the perfect way to utilize it would be by pursing our hobbies and by doing something creative.
If you’ve ever thought of learning a new skill or an pursuing old one, this is the time! Whether it is cooking, reading, writing, gardening, dancing, singing, playing the guitar, or drawing, painting and craft, it’s time for us to don a few hats and try something unique.
I have been getting back to my favourite hobbies of reading, drawing and crayon colouring. I have been an avid reader all my life and have now seized the opportunity to grab a book and a cuppa’ and spend my afternoon wonderfully!
I usually cook as well and love experimenting with ingredients in my kitchen.
Being creative is fun, keeps us engaged and helps us utilize our time efficiently.
So what’s stopping you? Go ahead and get creative! Encourage your family and friends to get creative too!
Exercise and meditation are excellent stress busters. Whether it is yoga, or lifting weights at home or doing zumba at home, there is so much you can do to get your adrenaline levels pumping and to boost your mood.
Here’s a recent video on my YouTube Channel, on interesting exercises you can do at home. –Check Here.
Meditation is something I do every single day and I would recommend that to everyone else as well.
Meditation gives you the energy and deep rest that even hours of sleep cannot.
Meditation helps you connect with yourself and relieves your anxiety, increases your confidence and keeps you positive and helps you become more fruitful throughout the day.
Meditating even for 15-20 mins a day is good enough. There are so many online meditations available out there, you can take help of those as well.
My favourite are guided online meditations by Spiritual Guru & Founder of the Art Of Living Foundation. Here is a link for you to check the meditations on YouTube- Click Here.
I highly recommend them for stress relief and for feeling refreshed.
5. Virtual Connect with Family & Friends
At times like these when we cannot meet our family & friends in person, social media is proving to be our best friend.
If you are feeling anxious, you can relieve your anxiety by connecting with your family & friends on whatsapp, phone, video call or on social media platforms like facebook and instagram.
Reconnecting with old friends whom you haven’t been able to keep in touch with, is also a great way to boost your spirits during this time.
Also, it is crucial to note that what kind of conversations we have with our family & friends have an impact on our minds. It is essential to steer away from negative & panic-inducing conversations and have more happy and encouraging conversations with each other. So it is important to be mindful of this fact.
Encouraging each other and being there for others who may be feeling anxious is extremely significant.
Who knows, your phone/video call or a simple hello might boost somebody else’s spirits?
Loneliness can lead to anxiety and depression, especially for those who live alone. It’s time to check up on each other!!
Let’s start connecting!
So those were a few ways which I feel are definitely useful in relieving anxiety during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Now is the time when we all should be standing by each other and stay away from rumours, take precautions and not panic.
Let’s be considerate of each other during this time.
Let’s be more understanding and sensible.
Let’s be HUMAN.