By Lisa Breitenwischer
The CoronaVirus has caused many cities around the world to enforce a mandatory Shelter-in-Place to prevent the virus from spreading. Our business and many other businesses and schools have been forced to close. Everyone has been affected by this pandemic and it’s causing a lot of stress and anxiety and for some-depression.
When routines and structures are disrupted it can definitely trigger stress and anxiety, as many will stop engaging in some of the healthy coping strategies that usually help keep our mood up.Things like going to the gym, taking a yoga class, walking or running outdoors, reading, cooking. In other words, when stress triggers a lowered mood, it’s more likely that the person will skip their typical healthy mood regulation strategies—resulting in further mood problems.
Self-regulatory strength is like a mental muscle—using it helps keep it strong. Life stress and initial lowered mood often lead to people abandoning routines of eating healthy meals and sleeping at consistent times. This, in turn, sometimes begins a slippery slope of under-regulation.
Adding isolation to the mix could move some of us into depression. Human beings are naturally social creatures, we require social interaction to function properly. Isolation, voluntary or involuntary separation from other human beings is counterintuitive to the brain’s innate social cognitive functions. As a result, the brain adopts opposing thought processes, and forms neural networks, that disturb it’s natural chemistry. (psychology today.com)
So what can we do? Here are some tactics:
- Anxiety is a future-oriented state of mind. So instead of worrying about what’s going to happen, “reel yourself back to the present,” says Tamar Chansky, Ph.D.
- Get moving. Exercise is one of the best natural anti-anxiety solutions. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity three to five days a week . We have 3-30 min yoga/meditation videos online at balancngenergy.com.
- Get a little sunshine or use a blue light indoors.
- Skype or FaceTime a coworker, friend or family member.
- Breathe in and out. Deep breathing helps you calm down.
- Add a probiotic. Studies have shown a gut /mood connection. If your gut is off, there’s a good chance your mood will be too.
- Get some sleep. If having a hard time falling asleep try eating some walnuts or a banana before bed. Sip on passionflower tea.
Foods that Boost Mood
Dark Leafy Greens
Lions Mane Mushrooms
Anxiety is a beast, but it’s possible to win the battle without medication. Sometimes, overcoming worry and nervousness is simply a matter of modifying your behavior, thoughts, and lifestyle. You can start with a drug-free approach, and then speak with a doctor if your symptoms don’t improve or worsen. These drug-free, anti-anxiety tactics can even help you complement your medication regimen. Do what works for you, and know that anxiety does not control your life. (healthline.com)