Self-Care for Anxious Times: COVID-19 and Beyond

March 24, 2020 Rizza Bermio-Gonzalez

Self-care for anxious times, such as the changes occurring due to the coronavirus, is so important. Not long ago, I wrote about experiencing anxiety when experiencing change. The current state of affairs in our world due to COVID-19 has been a major change in everyone's lives, and thus, due to these changes and the accompanying uncertainty, has truly impacted my anxiety.

As the latest events began unfolding on the news, I realized how much this was true as I paid close attention to how I was feeling. I began to realize how important it is for me to really focus on calming my anxiety and practicing self-care, not only for the benefit of myself but for my family as well.

Strategies for Practicing Self-Care During Anxious Times

These are some of the self-care practices for these anxious times that I have been focusing on and doing. Use these tips to help you take care of yourself and reduce your stress and anxiety:

  1. Do something relaxing. For me, these activities are primarily exercising, reading, watching TV with my family, and cooking. In trying to stay positive, I have found it helpful to be very intentional about focusing my energy completely on these activities and enjoying them as much as possible in the moment.
  2. Lean on your support system. I think this is so important, now more than ever. I am extremely thankful to be able to process all of my anxious feelings with my family. Not only do we lean on each other, but we make each other laugh and do our best to create levity throughout the day. Laughing is one of the best ways to feel better when stressed and anxious.
  3. Turn off the news. Whether you are obtaining your information from social media, TV, or news sites on the Internet, sometimes turning them off -- or, at the very least, limiting them -- can be extremely helpful. This is perhaps one of the hardest things for me to do. I find that I am constantly looking at my social media news feeds and checking online, watching for good news that will help relieve my anxiety. The reality of it, though, is that the simple act of doing this is making my anxiety worse. If I look really closely at when my anxiety intensifies about everything that is happening right now, it is when I am anxiously awaiting to hear the current updates. In recent days, I have started to turn off the news and am just briefly scanning headlines on social media. While I know it is still important to stay updated, I have been mindful of which articles I am actually clicking on to read. This has helped me to stay calm and less stressed.
  4. Focus on what you can control. This is, again, one of the hardest things for me to do. Let's face it, though, there is so much we do not have control over that the uncertainty can be so difficult to deal with. I have been trying to focus on the things that I do have control over, such as household chores, reaching out to loved ones, and spending time with my family. I know that if I were to focus on those things that are out of my control, my anxiety would spin out of control. 

If you experience chronic anxiety, these times can be difficult. What are you doing for self-care in these anxious times? Share those strategies in the comments.

See also:

APA Reference
Bermio-Gonzalez, R. (2020, March 24). Self-Care for Anxious Times: COVID-19 and Beyond, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 30 from

Author: Rizza Bermio-Gonzalez

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