Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. With the ongoing pandemic, it’s not much of a surprise we’re feeling uneasy about the future.
But, fortunately, there are a number of coping mechanisms that could assist you in curbing or combating feelings of anxiety. Here are a few that will help carry you through this unprecedented time.
1. Pick up a coloring book
For years, psychologists have touted that coloring uses logic to pick which color to use for shapes and patterns, making use of the analytical part of the brain.
According to Beaumont Health Hospital in Michigan, coloring has the ability to relax the fear center of your brain, the amygdala. It induces the same state as meditating by reducing the thoughts of a restless mind. This generates mindfulness and quietness, which allows your mind to get some rest after a long day at work. It has also been found that one can improve control of their vision, fine motor skills and coordination.Coloring is also a good way to awaken your inner child and trigger happy thoughts, as childhood is typically associated with stress-free times.
2. Listen to audiobooks
Audiobooks are great for escapism during times of anxiety or panic. Ultimately, stories provide clear boundaries: a beginning, middle and end to universal dilemmas. For thousands of years, they have helped us make sense of the world around us, and non-fiction books, with in-depth analysis of facts and figures, broadly aim to do the same but in a different way.
In a visually overstimulated society, we use a completely different set of senses to absorb audiobooks. When audibly consuming things, you are able to absorb new information more passively.
A calming voice reading a book can provide companionship and a relaxing influence. Equally, if you are too distracted to concentrate on a book, they can help supply the comfort of reading without the effort of focusing on a page.
Additionally, listening to a good story can also promote empathy. Reading aloud to children can expose them to “different experiences, backgrounds, religions, identities and more to help your child find him or herself … as well as learn about other people’s lives. This will teach children the importance of empathy and kindness,’ says Amy Joyce in a Washington Post article. This is also true for adults as well.
3. Devour a podcast
Speaking of great audio options, podcasts are a great tool for multi-taskers or people who are now working from home full-time. There’s literally a podcast for everything!
Your favorite hobby, topic or area of interest is usually covered by a knowledgeable host who’s packed full of information. This non-visual format also allows you to divide your attention so you can focus on other activities throughout the day.
4. Lean into learning
Every adult can agree that our learning didn’t stop after graduation. We are never too old to learn something new. Take this special time to master something you’ve always wanted to learn about. Be it a new language, hairstyle or exercise move, the world is your oyster.
5. Watch binge-worthy TV
At the end of the day, we’re living through an extremely stressful time filled with new challenges. At this point, we completely understand if you need to self-soothe by reverting to a comforting habit that you’ve known and loved for years: watching television.
While it’s advised you should maintain 3-4 days of physical activity for at least 30 minutes, it’s perfectly fine to indulge in some of your favorite TV shows, especially if you have free time.
Television programming is one of the easiest ways to occupy your mind even if it’s just for a few hours. With streaming services aplenty, there are plenty of options to sustain your appetite. But, be sure to do a sit-up or two while watching your favorite characters!
We hope these suggestions help!