Anxiety and Self-Care During COVID-19
Even if you’ve never stepped foot into a therapist’s office, coping with anxiety is probably on your mind during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we all do our best to take care of ourselves and our families during these stressful times, self-care is a critical tool to turn to.
Here is one Community patient’s story of anxiety in the time of the coronavirus, and how self-care helped her stay afloat after receiving difficult news.
Raising five young children as a single mother is hard enough. When the coronavirus crisis spread across Indiana, it compounded the anxiety of Laura’s everyday life — and it only got worse when she received the COVID-19 diagnosis herself.
Laura knew she had to stay positive as she entered quarantine. As a patient of Community’s Marjorie Cline, LCSW, LCAC, she turned to the tools she learned in therapy to get her through. Once the shock of her diagnosis wore off, she taped a self-care plan on her mirror and went into action mode.
Plan Your Self-Care
Laura’s self-care plan was a simple tool, but it provided a framework for her mental health during her personal struggle. It included a guide of behaviors to help her care for herself, and for her kids.
While the specifics of your own plan will vary, here are some ideas that might get you started:
Find Your New Normal
“Anxiety is an everyday feeling for most of us right now,” says Cline. “We might not be able to control that feeling, but we can absolutely control how we cope with it.” Our new normal looks pretty strange, but there are plenty of healthy ways to cope with your anxiety.
- Find your focus — Rather than worry about all of the things that are out of your control, focus on all the things you can affect in your everyday life. Find something that makes you feel empowered, like cooking nutritious meals for your family or learning a new skill.
- Avoid the news spiral — It’s easy to get overwhelmed with negative news about the pandemic. Stay informed, but don’t immerse yourself unless you feel like you have to for your own health or safety.
- Stay in the present — Work out. Read. Create. Laugh. Dance. Pray. Any sense of normalcy you can bring to your everyday life will pay off for your mental health. And most importantly, if you feel like you’re struggling to stay positive, reach out for help.
If you’re feeling anxious or need help putting together a self-care plan, Community is here for you. Connect with one of our therapists right here.