TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The world can be a scary place to live in during a time like what we are experiencing now. With a global coronavirus pandemic, the world is consistently changing before our eyes. This can cause a lot of anxiety and stress for people, especially when you must stay home.
Rochelle Walsh, a licensed clinical social worker in Topeka, spoke with KSNT News about ways to control these feelings.
1. Feel whatever emotion you may be having.
The first step to control your anxiety or stress is allowing yourself to feel that way, Walsh said. Do not push it down, but instead acknowledge it. Walsh recommended writing down what you are feeling and why you are feeling this way. However, Walsh said it is important to not get stuck in that emotion, and to be able to overcome it.
2. Look for opportunities of happiness.
A way to overcome these emotions is to find ways to make yourself happy, Walsh said. This can be talking to friends and family, practicing your religion, spending time outside, picking up a hobby, or anything else that brings you joy. Focusing on these opportunities stops allowing your mind to wander and think about the “what ifs” of the situation, Walsh said.
3. Take a walk.
Walks are a great way to boost your mood, Walsh said, because they activate the upper part of our brain to reduce fear. They also stimulate certain nerves to calm your body, according to Walsh.
4. Create a daily routine.
Having a set routine can be helpful for reducing anxiety, Walsh said. However, they vary for everyone and should allow for flexibility. No matter your routine, Walsh said it should include waking up and going to sleep at similar times each day, showering, and spending time outside.
5. Remember this won’t last forever.
Reminding yourself that this pandemic will not last forever is another key step to reducing your anxiety, Walsh said. Additionally, Walsh said it’s important to understand that in this situation we will learn more about ourselves, as well as others, due to the circumstances.
“Just like any other kind of training we do, when we get to the other side of something like this we will have grown,” Walsh said. “Just remembering that we’re going to get through it, that it will not last forever.”