How do I cope with anxiety? 8 tips to cope with anxiety during COVID
We are living in difficult times during this coronavirus crisis. Isolation from friends and loved ones, fear of contagion, and economic instability, among others, may be negatively affecting our mental health.
One of the first signs of anxiety is poor quality sleep. Research published by ScienceDirect has found that there is a bidirectional relationship between anxiety and insomnia. This means that anxiety can disrupt your sleep, and at the same time sleep problems can cause anxiety.
Kocoono™ has listened to stories of people getting through so much: feelings of loneliness due to the social restrictions, newly stressful situations at home never lived before, among others, that all together combined can be increasing the levels of anxiety, and negatively affect sleep quality and happiness levels.
Some people find Kocoono™ Blankets an aid to cope with anxiety and get their quality of sleep back. We want to support all of you in these difficult times not just by providing aids to anxiety with our weighted blankets, also called "calming blankets" or "anxiety blankets", but also by providing steps to stop the anxiety damaging your Mental Well-being.
The following are tips and suggestions that you can do to take care of your Mental Well-being and cope with stress during this time.
1. Stay connected with your family and friends.
You must keep in contact with your loved ones. Sharing how you’re feeling can help you to rationalize the problems and minimize them. If you spend too much time with the same people at home, normally, you end up having some arguments with them. In this case, it is beneficial to chat with someone outside of your living environment and express your feelings to other family members or friends. That will help you to blow off steam and see other perspectives. While you may not be able to be with your loved ones in person, you can call, text, and plan virtual meetups. You can even plan a movie night with Netflix Party
2. Identify your anxiety triggers and fight them with positive thoughts
In a state of anxiety, it is very difficult to think clearly: the emotions dominate us. By rationalizing emotions, we can dissolve emotions and calm down. How we rationalize our emotions? Identify your anxiety triggers. Which thoughts in particular make you feel anxious? List your negative thoughts on a paper and challenge them by putting something more reality-based and positive in its place. There is an exercise called Automatic Thoughts in the Kocoono Wellness Toolkit that can help with this.
3. Maintain a routine
If your routine has changed, try to keep one up: dressing up or putting makeup on as if you were going out to the office can help. If you normally did your daily/weekly exercise in the Gym, keep doing it at home or outdoors, there are some really fun ways to maintain a gym workout at home using limited items at home as an alternative to gym equipment. If there are parts of your routine that you miss, such as going for a coffee or a restaurant to catch up, try to find ways to add them to your day in different ways, such as virtual meetings or using sunny days to go for a takeaway coffee.
4. Connect with nature
Exercise benefits are well known, If you enjoy an outdoor workout surrounded by nature, its benefits multiply. Spending time in nature becomes a great ally to strengthen the body and spirit.
Stanford researchers showed that participants who went on a 90-min walk through a natural environment reported lower levels of rumination on life's little worries, decreasing anxiety overall. There is also alot of research on the benefits of walking on a beach and being near water. Does the image above look familiar? It is the lovely Salthill beach in Galway. At Kocoono™ HQ we are great lovers of the sea and find beach walks so therapeutic for wellbeing. If you are not near a beach for exercise at the moment it is good to have something to look forward to, so write down all the places you would like to visit when the restrictions finally do end.
5. Home work out? Try Yoga!
We highly recommend Yoga for its multiple physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages. Many studies have shown that yogic practices enhance muscularly and reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, improve sleep patterns, and enhance overall well-being and quality of life.
Yoga, in a similar way as the Deep Touch Pressure Therapy applied by Calming Blankets, shifts the balance from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system generating a relaxation response.
You can learn about all the Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Yoga in the Ultimate Guide On the Health Benefits of Yoga. You will be surprised by how many ways practising Yoga can help your Wellbeing!
If you would like to start a daily Yoga practice we recommend you to have a little search on Youtube and start with videos such as Yoga For Complete Beginners - 20 Minute Home Yoga Workout! from the account “Yoga With Adriene,”
6. Have a healthy diet
Try to avoid stimulants such as sugars or caffeine. and include food that has properties that help you to feel calm. We recommend you to have a look at these diet tips to help manage anxiety provided by EatingWell. If you are trying to tackle the proverbial "sweet tooth" we recommend that you remove the temptation by reducing the amount of sugary foods and treats you have at home. If it is in the cupboard and your willpower in any given moment is low, chances are that you will reach for that Dairymilk bar and devour it. Rather than putting your self discipline to the test everyday, reduce your sugary foods in your weekly shop so that they are not even in the cupboard to tempt you as they can be a huge contributor to the initial "sugar high" and then the emotional slump that lends itself to feelings of anxiety.
7.Take healthy breaks when working at home
Taking a break every day around noon can help with your productivity and stress. Avoid taking breaks at the desk by having a look at the phone. It is better to give yourself time to disconnect from devices. Kocoono™ Weighted Eye Pillow can help you to get a glorious and peaceful moment in the middle of those hectic days. Lie down for 15 minutes and place your Weighted Eye Pillow over your eyes, when you are lying on your back, ideally. The Deep Touch Pressure Therapy applied around your eyes will release all your tension! After this little break, you will have a more productive day with an enhanced mood and better focus helping your productivity and overall happiness.
8. Shut down before bed
Having good sleep hygiene can help you to calm your anxiety. It is important to create a consistent sleep routine (e.g. use aromatherapy, a warm glass of milk, turn the lights down low, or have a relaxing bath before bed) to trigger your body into knowing this is what happens when it's time for bed. You can complement these routines with an extra shot of natural relaxation in your body with the help of calming blankets. They activate your Parasympathetic Nervous System with Pressure Therapy. To learn more about how calming blankets fight anxiety and provide a calming feeling to the body, we recommend you have a look at Deep Touch Pressure therapy: Why you should try its benefits in 2021?
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All the team at Kocoono™ HQ hope that you have enjoyed learning a bit more about how Deep Touch Pressure Therapy can positively impact your life.
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