Monotony and uncertainty can fuel anxiety and depression among the people stuck at home or away from loved ones during the lockdown. In addition to this, with negative news everywhere you look can worsen the mental health of an anxious individual trying to hold on to the last bits of positivity.
Do you have to accept this as your reality and suffer in silence? Absolutely not! Here are a few self-help techniques to get you through this rough phase –
Excercise, Excercise and Excercise –
The research enthusiast among us may be aware that depression and anxiety are caused due to imbalance in certain hormones. Exercise releases endorphins and helps reduce stress. It also improves sleep and helps beat insomnia.
It is not necessary that a full blown weight training is required to be done. A simple walk or dance routine will suffice to get your body worked up.
Set Realistic Goals-
When you pack your schedule in advance with various activities, chances are that you may feel clobbered. If you miss out on few tasks, it adds up to your anxiety and feeling of uselessness.
Instead, think thoroughly before setting your daily goals. On days when you don’t feel like getting out of bed, don’t beat yourself up. Tell yourself that it is absolutely fine to take time off from your hectic schedule. Your worth is not defined by the things you achieve in a day!
Break The Monotony
Avoid sitting in one place for long hours. If you are playing a game for a long time, take a break to watch a movie or roam around the house with your earphones plugged in. Talk to your family members and try diverting your mind. Mix and match so that it doesn’t seem like you are living the same day repeatedly.
Mindfulness Is The Key-
Meditation may feel dull and my advice clichéd at this point. However, once you complete your first session, your thoughts may differ. Unguided meditation can be tedious, therefore, many apps have offered free premium plan to the ones hit by the pandemic.
You can redeem free access to Calm, Headspace and Simple Habit. The 7 days of Calm series is helpful for anxiety ridden individuals. It teaches you to return to the present moment and give up your worries related to the past or future.
Even after taking all the necessary precautions, a panic attack may creep up on us at any moment in time. Panic attacks come unannounced and may feel like a stroke in severe cases. Even a mild attack can take a nasty turn if not handled properly.
Follow these steps to calm yourself during an anxiety or panic attack –
1. Recognize You Are Having A Panic Attack
Breathlessness, choking or suffocation, trembling, accelerated heart rate, chest pain and fear of dying are a few symptoms of an upcoming panic attack. If you recognise that you are caught in a panic attack and not a heart attack, you can remind yourself that it is temporary which may prevent it from becoming worse.
2. The 5 Senses Grounding Technique
A panic attack takes you on a paranoia ride, making you feel detached to the surrounding. Look around you and find five things you can see. See the movement of the clock’s hand or the fan rotating above you. Find four things you can feel. Feel the texture of your jeans or the chair beneath you.
Find three things you can hear and two things you can smell. Smell the aroma of your perfume. Lastly, find one thing you can taste. Keep a gum handy and chew when panic knocks on your door.
3. Picture Your Happy Place
What makes you feel alive? Maybe playing in the snow with your family or a sunny beach with waves touching your feet. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in such settings. If you can’t focus during the attack, here’s a video by BuzzFeed which will surely help. Let’s just hope you are not greeted by a minute long ad which you cannot skip.
4. Keep Lavender Oil Handy
Lavender can soothe and relieve nerves which is why it must be with you at all times. If you are in a train and a panic attack begins, rub some on your forearms and breathe in. At home, you can try lavender tea for more benefits.
If you are prone to panic attacks keep these points in mind. If the lockdown has taken a toll on you and the attacks have become more frequent, speak to your doctor! Self care helps but sometimes medicines and a proper treatment is required. Take care, guys!
Image Credits- Google Images