We’re all pretty much pros at this social distancing thing now, right? We may not be happy about it, but we’re all doing it, and it’s helping people. Flattening that curve, keeping our loved ones safe. You should feel good about that.
Good feelings aside, you may find it hard to cope with social isolation and the sacrifices that you have to make. For those of us who are dealing with mental health issues, chronic pain or other challenges, that is especially true. While there’s no substitute for a doctor’s care, medication or regular therapy, there are some ways in which you can help alleviate symptoms of stress or anxiety and help yourself feel more calm and centered in times of uncertainty and loneliness.
Limit Social Media
This might seem counterproductive, since we’re all isolated, and social media brings people together. How else will you keep up with your friends? How will you stay engaged with the outside world? While there’s definitely pros to staying connected, keeping up with the news and chatting with your friends and family, social media has a darker underbelly. Too much time spent scrolling feeds that are filled with negative thoughts, stress and confusion and often-scary “breaking news” keeps your mind ramped up in a state of stress, panic and uncertainty. It can be hard to stay calm and focused when our mind is always on hyper alert. With social media in a constant state of “refresh”, you never get a moment to relax.
Turn it off for a while, and engage in other activities that don’t remind you of stressful things. Read a book, do some gardening, get in the kitchen to make a yummy treat, or listen to your favorite music. If you really miss social interaction, call a friend on the phone or send an email. In times of major anxiety, try to limit your social media to an hour a day; just long enough to get the gist of the news, but not long enough to fall into a panic spiral.
Herbal Supplements and Remedies
It can be hard to eat a nutritious diet and stay healthy in times like these, when we aren’t able to go out and shop every day and when there are outages at all the grocery stores. You can supplement your diet with a multivitamin or other key minerals to help keep your mind and body healthy, energized and alert. Supplements like melatonin help you sleep, while Vitamin C and Zinc boost the immune system. Vitamin D can help with mood, as can B12.
For those who need help specifically with managing anxiety, online sites like herbal dispatch and others can provide you with CBD and other all-natural supplements to help you manage your symptoms. Other online companies also offer essential oils, supplements and herbal blends to help you alleviate stress and feel calmer.
Nobody expects you to run a marathon or become a bodybuilder while in seclusion, but just a little simple exercise every day can keep that heart rate pumping, endorphins flooding your brain, and your muscles and joints feeling better. Not to mention the effects it can have on your overall mood and well-being. Being shuttered up indoors is not good for mental health, so if you live in an area where it’s possible to go for a quick walk or jog around the neighborhood without encroaching on others, you should totally do it.