When the anxiety hits
You have to take anxiety very seriously. I sometimes get an unpleasant feeling in my stomach from Corona news; press conferences with new restrictions and everyday life is changed again and again. Others experience much more severe anxiety such as; chest tightness, palpitations, nausea, sleep problems or heavy sweating. Anxiety can come from past unpleasant experiences, or the fear of the unknown and it can be difficult to combat. If you don’t address the anxiety, do something about it, or learn to accept it, you can end up with depression.
I have explored what can be done to avoid anxiety, or at least relate to it and keep it at a reasonable level. Here’s what I do myself:
I go for a walk – half an hour to a full hour – every day after work and use my TRX equipment during the day. The walk makes my body feel refreshed. A long day at my home office in front of the PC, does have an impact after all. The fresh air clears the brain and gives a mental reboot before preparing dinner together with Sigurd and the kids. My TRX equipment I use, as an active break between Team meetings and phone calls. 5-10 min. workouts 4-5 times during the work day gets my heart rate up. My back feels much better and my “grandma arms” are much tighter now.
Food and Drink
With three teenage boys in the house, lots of food has to be made. I bake breakfast buns almost every morning, rye bread a few times a week and make most dinners from scratch or from homemade precooked. After Christmas we take a break from sugar, cake and soft drinks. Tap water and mineral water also taste good. Every day I take magnesium and drink a glass of biotin (vitamin B7) and eat a collagen supplement – good skin makes you happy when you look at yourself in the mirror and anxiety also puts a mark on the skin, it ages faster due to stress hormones.
We eat lots of vegetables (both fresh and frozen) and get salad for the food. Now that it’s winter, we eat good soups, see my recipe for fast and delicious potato-leek soup.
Last year I had a six-month break from alcohol from January to July. After a December with wine in copious quantities, I always aim for a “dry January”. Last year month after month went by without me missing a glass of wine. However, I admit; first week is a week of mental withdrawal when you are used to having wine every day most of December. But it last’s only for that first week. Result: I am more focused, sleep better and have no longer those stupid worried thoughts that wake me up in the middle of the night, issues that seem huge in the darkness of the night and disappear when the day breaks, and all that is left is a little embarrassement.
I don’t drink coffee, but tea – and too much while working from home. I try to drink more tap water and herbal tea instead. A cup of good night tea before bed makes my body relax. No chocolate, energy drinks are banned (also in general in our household) and Coca Cola only during weekends.
Typically I go to bed at 10-10.30 p.m. and get up at 6 a.m. in winter. In summer I often get up earlier, the need for sleep is not so big and I like to watch the day break, sitting on the terrace with a cup of tea. Right now, I get 7-8 hours every night and that suits me fine. If you feel you need more sleep, listen to your body’s signals, turn off the TV, put down the phone and read a book or magazine. If you cannot easily fall asleep, make yourself a goodnight playlist or listen to an audiobook.
Too much mess around you, messes up your head. Clean up, both in the living room and in the bedroom. Make the bed, change the sheets once a week and make the bedroom cosy. Make the pillows on the sofa, light up a few scented candles and put some fresh flowers on the coffee table. It relaxes the central nervous system, makes you happy and you can focus on the positive things.
The corona affects and stresses us all, whether we want to admit it or not. We’ve had to get used to living life in a different way, we can’t hug friends and right now not be physically with others than our closest. The children are also affected by the new everyday life and have many questions about Corona, the lockdown and the future. I have just started a new job in October and I must work with new colleagues from home. Difficult? Yes, indeed. Impossible? No, but it takes extra mental effort.
If you live alone, be sure to talk to someone every day – someone else than work colleagues. Hearing the voice of a good friend or close family and seeing their face on camera will make you more confident and relaxed.
When anxiety strikes, you are not going insane or are ridiculous, it is a natural reaction from your body. Be open about it and talk to others about your worries and your anxiety.
Remember; other people’s anxiety is NOT your anxiety. Listen when others tell you about their worries and anxiety, but don’t let it affect you. Right now, a lot of conspiracy theories are circulating on TikTok, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Take a break from social media and don’t read or see posts or news that might affect you.
I can honestly say that all these strange theories are lies. Corona is real, trust the authorities and don’t let yourself become influenced by various theories, it’s all lies in sick people’s heads.
If it becomes too much and you can’t let go of the anxiety, seek professional help. Go to your GP or contact a psychologist who can give you the tools you need to get back on your feet. It’s never too late or wrong to get help when it all gets too much. It is as important to care for your mental health as the physical, a healthy soul in a healthy body is the way to a good life in a world full of changes.
I hope my advice can help you. Please leave a comment about what you are doing to prevent corona anxiety.