How To Deal With Anxiety Over The World Opening Up Post-Coronavirus

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How To Deal With Anxiety Over The World Opening Back Up
Health And Wellness

The uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of troubling, and we've all been tasked with having to learn how to deal with anxiety over things like lost jobs, an upheaval of daily routines, and, most importantly, how to keep ourselves safe and healthy. 

For a period of time, businesses were closed and we were encouraged to stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus. 

More recently, however, the world is slowly beginning to open back up. 

Restaurants are serving customers with a limited capacity, gyms are opening with the requirement of masks, and people have become less fearful. 

But the truth is, the coronavirus still poses a threat to each and every one of us. 

RELATED: 5 Reasons To Be Thankful During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Just because things are re-opening doesn’t necessarily mean we should be running to our nearest mall. 

A surge in cases and deaths in the United States have proven that COVID-19 is not over. 

While many people are conscious of their contact with others, some continue ignoring the severity of this global pandemic. 

For those who have taken coronavirus seriously from the start, the world opening back up may be causing high levels of anxiety. We are still afraid of contracting the virus and passing it onto our loved ones. 

So what can we do when the people around us don’t feel the same way?

Quick Anxiety Relief Techniques

There are many techniques you can use to cope with anxiety when it's already present.

Similar to how symptoms will vary depending on the person, so does effective treatment.

However, many people can benefit from simple lifestyle changes to decrease anxiety. 

Here are some of the most common tactics. 

1. Get enough sleep

It's hard to do any type of anxiety-ridding if you're running on empty. 

By getting enough sleep, you can calm anxiety levels and give your body the time it needs to refresh itself. 

Try committing for two weeks to go to sleep one hour before you normally would.

Put away your phone, wind down with a cup of tea, and watch how getting enough sleep drastically decreases your anxiety. 

2. Meditate

While this might not be the easiest task for everyone, it's definitely a great way to center yourself. 

Meditating helps relieve anxiety and stress because it's practicing refocusing your thoughts. 

It acts as a grounding technique that brings attention to one thing, as opposed to the many things going on around you. 

Through mediation, you are able to shift the attention from your anxiety to something positive, like your breath. 

3. Stay active

We've all heard that getting regular exercise is one of the best ways to improve your mood. But why?

Once your body experiences movement there is a production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). 

As a result, new neurons (like seratonin and GABA) grow and connect which instantly calms you down

It's hard for your anxiety levels to be high when neurotransmitters are doing their job to keep you happy. 

4. Eat a healthy diet

Luckily for many, this goes hand in hand with staying active. 

Similar to the way being active relieves stress, so do nutritious food choices

Healthy foods help to reduce anxiety and tension by lowering your blood sugar. 

Think about the difference in mood after eating a bowl of fruit, as opposed to a slice of pizza — make the right choice for you and your anxiety. 

5. Avoid alcohol and caffeine

You're less likely to have panic and stress when you remove these two elements from your life

For most people, both alcohol and caffeine increase your chance of having anxiety. 

The energy that is produced as a result of alcohol and caffeine is not always positive. 

Although it may be hard to remove these aspects of your life, it's for the better. 

6. Quit smoking cigarettes

The common misconception is that smoking relieves anxiety, but it's actually the opposite. 

Nicotine is directly related to mood swings and anxious feelings

As a matter of fact, the nicotine is creating anxiety in the first place and making symptoms worse. 

It might be time to put down the cigarette and take back control of your life. 

7. Do things that distract your mind

Reading, watching my favorite show, talking to a loved one, or going for a walk are some of the outlets I’ve found to counteract my anxiety. 

It’s helpful to try a few different strategies to see what works best for you. 

In the midst of the coronavirus, we are all going through similar situations. 

By reaching out to others who understand what we’re experiencing, we can feel less alone and become more in-tune with our emotions. 

RELATED: 5 Steps To Help You Return To Work After Coronavirus

Long-Term Ways To Deal With Anxiety

If any of the quick-fix solutions don't work for you, it's okay. 

There are still options out there to recover from anxiety. 

1. Talk to a psychiatrist or family doctor

If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, medication might be necessary for you to deal with it. 

Chances are, you will feel some immediate relief from your anxiety if this is the route you take. 

Medication can get your anxiety levels back on track and put you on the road to recovery. 

2. Seek a therapist or counselor

This can be a great resource for working through anxiety and stress — whether you've been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or not. 

In spite of the need for social distance, there are many online professionals that can be of help

By working with someone to ease feelings of panic during this time, you can be given the steps necessary to cope. 

What causes anxiety?

The body’s natural response to stress, anxiety is “a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come.” 

It’s clear that the coronavirus has left everyone feeling on edge because of its ambivalence. 

At first, it was compared to the seasonal flu, appearing not to be a serious danger. But within weeks, the country was on lockdown and we had to quickly adjust to this new way of life. 

Toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, and soap flew off the shelves of every grocery store — making people question how they will even use the bathroom. 

We had to become accustomed to wearing masks (some people still refusing to) and take comfort in FaceTime calls. 

Many people were put out of work, wondering how long their unemployment checks would last. Businesses have gone under and many have declared bankruptcy. 

Not to mention, the frontline healthcare workers who have had to face the most frightening changes of us all. 

No one was prepared for a global pandemic. And we were all stuck in feelings of apprehension and stress — normal life had been taken away. 

In some cases, anxiety can be the result of genetic makeup. However, the emotional toll of COVID-19 affected even people who aren’t normally anxious. Constant misinformation, uncertainty, and stress have all led to anxiety during the pandemic. 

How To Tell If You Have Anxiety

If you’ve never experienced the symptoms of anxiety, it can be very jarring. 

Mayo Clinic states that general anxiety involves an “increased heart rate, rapid breathing, restlessness, trouble concentrating, and difficulty falling asleep.”

Since many have experienced anxiety and stress simultaneously throughout the pandemic, there are some other symptoms of which to be aware. They are headache, stomachache, sweating, dizziness, jitteriness, muscle tension, panic, nervousness, irrational anger, or irritability. 

Noticing any of these changes within your physical and emotional health can be a sign that you have anxiety. 

In the event of a panic attack, one might experience any of the symptoms listed, along with dry mouth, chills or hot flashes, apprehension, and worry, distress, fear, or numbness. 

Although anxiety breeds common symptoms, it will vary from person-to-person. It’s important to keep in mind that the way you experience anxiety might be different than the way your best friend does. 

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Isabella Pacinelli is a writer who covers relationship, self-love, spirituality, and entertainment topics.

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