How to Manage Your Anxiety During COVID-19

I think it’s safe to say that everyone is experiencing some levels of anxiety during COVID-19.

If you’ve never experienced anxiety before, welcome to the world of constant “nervousness,” dread, fear, and restlessness all at the same time!


For those of you who have already been dealing anxiety long before it was considered cool and normal thanks to COVID-19, at least you can welcome your new friends with empathy and compassion. And if you’re feeling a lot of pressure on how to cope now that the world is officially a terrifying place – read more below on how to manage your anxiety during COVID-19.

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Re-watch/read Content

I don’t know about you, but my little heart can’t really handle anymore upsetting news than I’m already taking in. So instead of putting on the new *must-see* intense drama or picking up a new book with a crazy twist in the end, I’m opting out.

Instead, I’ve decided to rewatch Game of Thrones, because in some strange way, that world makes more sense to me than the world I’m living in right now.

It’s a beautiful thing knowing that I need to fast-forward something before it’s even happened. There’s just no need to intentionally trigger myself right now! (You KNOW what episode I am talking about). Instead of wondering how something is going to end or whether or not I’m going to like this new show, I spend some of my down time getting to re-experience predictable emotions.

And let me tell you – in these times – predictability is incredibly important for my mental health. We have no idea how long this social-distancing is going to last, we have no idea when the world is going to reopen, we have no idea how coronavirus is going to impact the health of our loved ones – but my God, at least I know that that little shithead dies in season 4.

The easiest way to ease anxiety is by creating some sort of perceived control.

I feel in control of my world when I am experiencing something familiar. I have the power to select which emotions I want to experience based off of content I already know and love. It might not be the most ground-breaking advice you’ve ever read, but just know that it does alleviate some of this crazy anxiety we are all facing.

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Turn off News Alerts

Do we REALLY need to know about every single devastating breaking news article the SECOND it’s released?

No. No we don’t.

I turned off my news alerts about two weeks ago, and I feel so much lighter. I also stopped tuning into CNN and I am definitely NOT watching those press briefings because, I don’t know, I like having normal blood pressure.

I encourage you to try to limit the amount of bad news you are taking in each day. I am a big advocate of staying abreast with the news and being decently informed on most of the top stories – but something tells me we are all going to be reasonably acquainted with the state of the union on a daily basis no matter what we do. It’s inescapable.

Instead, do your best to be intentional about not taking in every single drop of information you can get your hands on. There’s nothing you can do right now that will change the fact that COVID-19 is dictating our society, economy, physical/mental/emotional health, and politics. So instead, do what you need to do in order to be a considerate and decent human being (stay HOME), and focus the rest of your energy somewhere else.

Your exhausted, sweet brain will thank you for it.

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Create a Routine

Doesn’t have to be the most meticulous routine that was ever created, but something that feels familiar should do the trick.

Human beings like predictability. We like waking up in the morning and having a reasonable expectation of what the day will bring. And right now, thanks to this awful global pandemic, a lot of us are waking up thinking “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHAT NOW?!”

….which isn’t the healthiest mental state.

So instead, come up with an easy to follow, flexible-ish, stabilizing routine that will help you bring a bit of structure and purpose to your day. I don’t care what time you wake up, I don’t care what time you’re going to bed (as long as you’re getting eight hours, ahem) – but I do care that the middle part has some flow of structure to it.

It can be as simple as….

8:00am: Wake up
8:15am: Coffee/Breakfast
8:30am: Exercise
9:00am: Shower
9:30am: Work
12:00pm: Lunch
12:30pm: Call mom
1:00pm: Work
2:30pm: Go on a walk
3:00pm: Work
6:00pm: Watch a show (that you’ve already seen?)
7:00pm: Cook dinner
7:30pm: Eat said dinner
8:00pm: Clean Kitchen
8:30pm: Call friend
9:30pm: Puzzle (you nerd)
10:30pm: Get ready for bed
11:00pm: Meditate
11:30pm: Sleep time!

There ya go. Not a bad routine if you ask me! Be my guest and borrow it, if you must! And if you hate that routine then FINE. Make your own. And, if you’re not working right now – that’s okay, too. Re-organize your closet. Play video games. Work on your craft. Just find things to pass the time – and give them a dose of routine to make it seem like everything is on *purpose.*

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Focus on the Benefits

Before I dive into this, I really want to make it clear that I do not mean to sound callous. I know that this is a terrifying time for so many of us – and there’s not much we can do other than STAY.AT.HOME. to fix it. But with that being said, my coping mechanism has always erred on the side of silver linings. I love finding humor and happiness in things that are uncomfortable. This is not intended to diminish or dishonor the pain, but instead to bring momentary relief. We can’t be sad 24/7. It’ll crush us to the point of no return. So my goal is to find things that bring us a little reprieve.

There are some positive things I’d like to highlight:

Nurses, healthcare workers, grocery store employees, janitors, teachers, senior care aides, food deliverers, truck drivers…all of them are finally getting the respect and admiration they deserve. We are seeing what “essential” actually means in this society – and it wasn’t what we were trained to think beforehand. I can only hope this level of respect continues, AND may it come in the form of a fat RAISE.

Company obligatory “8am-5pm in office” culture has got to be suffering. We are now seeing the true benefits of working from home, and realizing, “Hey – when my kid gets sick and I need to be home, it’s actually not the end of the world because I still get my shit done!” For some reason many companies didn’t want you to know this – but now you do. And they’re going to have to reassess company values/policies in response to this.

General hygiene and sanitary practices have exponentially increased. I’d love to see some of these measures stay permanent just for the sake of everyone’s health. COVID-19 isn’t the only dangerous virus to people who are immunocompromised. Practicing higher cleaning standards for ourselves and others can only benefit those who already felt scared *on a constant basis.* I’d like to live in a world that focuses more on the health of others.

The government, while not to the standard I deem necessary, is cutting checks to the American people because it realizes we are the building blocks of the economy. No, I don’t believe it’s enough, and I personally do not believe our government handled with crisis with even a fraction of the care it should have, but it’s something. It’s a move in the right direction. And I am hopeful that our country will take note of that and continue to push our leaders further and further.

People are coming together to help each other. We are grocery shopping for those who are too afraid to go into the store. We are cooking for neighbors who have been infected with the virus (thanks John and Jordan!) We are donating to charities and being kind to one another when we actually have a human sighting from across the street. We are staying home for the sake of others. We are cheering for healthcare workers and clapping for the cleaning staff. If you really want the chills – click here to see what my neighbor did for us!

We won’t take for granted personal connection again. And, in the meantime, we are staying connected through the power of technology. My husband and I have had more family zoom happy hours in the past three weeks than we have in the past three years. Clients are booking life coaching sessions at a much higher rate because feeling supported and connected is essential. Dating has gone back to being courted over the phone instead of Netflix and Chill. We’ve been forced to slow down and connect again.

Mother Nature is getting a much-deserved break. Yes I know this is getting made fun of, but I don’t really care. I’ve never seen the sky so clear and blue in Los Angeles as it has been for the past two weeks. I can see the hills so sharply now – and it’s breathtaking. Not only that, but smog lifted in China. The canals in Venice are clean. Wild animals are roaming free in Colorado. Animals – both domesticated and not – sure are enjoying this quarantine time.

The world is working together to come up with a vaccine. When’s the last time the entire world came together to combat one common enemy? I can’t think of one, except perhaps the Spanish Influenza? I’m not a historian, nor am I an expert in this by a long shot, but it does bring me comfort to reflect on the fact that American, Japanese, German, French, Italian, Spanish, African, Australian, Canadian, Mexican, and Chinese scientists (and more!) are ALL working toward the same solution.

It’s okay to feel sad, scared, anxious, and angry about what’s happening in the world today. But it’s also okay to feel happy whenever you find these silver linings. Hold onto them for as long as you can. You deserve to feel happy even amongst the chaos.

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Talk About It

Anxiety is not a fun thing to talk about. Some view it as an admission of weakness (please don’t be one of those people), others view it as unproductive (it’s not, trust me) and others simply want to ignore anxiety so it goes away on its own (the ole head-in-the-sand method).

I want to strongly encourage every single one of you to talk about your anxiety. Not only will it open up the door for others to talk about it, but it will unburden yourself from carrying these feelings alone all damn day.

Talking about feelings releases those feelings.

It allows you to process them, understand them, befriend them, and relinquish them. I can’t promise that your anxiety is going to disappear after acknowledging it, but I can promise you that you will feel *some* relief.

If you’re not wanting to discuss your intimate feelings with friends or family members, that’s okay. I understand. That’s why Blush Online Life Coaching is here, amongst other online professionals that can help you work through these ugly feelings. And, if the anxiety gets so severe you don’t think daily functioning is in the cards, you can always seek help from a medical professional. I know my health insurance comes with an online on-demand doctor we’ve already called upon, and I am hopeful that other plans are starting to go this route, too.

Stay strong, stay safe, and stay home!

Blush is always here for you to help you make sense of your surroundings and your inner world. Remember that we now offer unlimited chat as well as video sessions. We’d love to work with you. xo

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