Amidst the uncertainty and chaos surrounding Covid-19, many of us are feeling increased bouts of anxiety and general stress. And while we’ve talked about the physical way stress presents itself in the body, we haven’t discussed the concept of coping with the anxiety itself. Since many of us now have more time to sit and ruminate in our negative thoughts, we thought now might be a good time to talk about the ways we can stay present and keep ourselves less stressed during this time.
Mental and Physical Health
To be truly healthy does not just mean our physical health, but rather our mental and spiritual health also needs to be supported. It’s much easier to disregard symptoms of our mental health, which is why more often than not, we find ourselves lacking in that area. Anxiety and depression are more common than we think. And you are not alone if you find yourself sitting with those kinds of thoughts from time to time. We know how difficult it can be to break the cycle of negative, anxious thinking, but practicing these strategies can help you cope over time.
Short Term Coping for Anxiety
When anxiety rushes upon us suddenly, it can feel almost impossible to overcome. Here are a few things you can try the next time you notice a sudden impact of anxiety and stress:
Deep, conscious breathing is one of the best ways to help our physical body through bouts of anxiety. This kind of breathing has been shown to help both calm the brain and regulate your blood pressure. Using a counting system (inhale 4, exhale 4, etc.) is a way to also focus your brain on one task, quieting the anxious thoughts.
- Inhale for 4 seconds
- Hold the breath for 4 seconds
- Exhale for 4 seconds
- Repeat as many times as necessary to begin calming down and feeling better
No, this is not your sister’s diary entry. Journaling is a great way to reduce stress in the moment as it forces us to stay grounded. This grounding nature eases stress and gives the body permission to relax. Studies have shown that writing about the things that make you anxious is actually a great way to cope with them. As a bonus, try tearing up the entry and throwing it away once completed for a fully therapeutic experience.
Use Your Support Systems
Just because you are practicing social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t lean on your support systems. Write a long email, make a call, or engage in FaceTime to feel connected to those you would like help from. This is not the time to stay silent or face the stress alone. Your support system wants to be there for you, let them be!
And if you would like to a professional there are a number of resources you can use like:
- Local therapy and counseling firms (many of which have adapted to virtual sessions)
- Apps (like TalkSpace)
- Hotline and crisis centers (like resolve Crisis Services)
We know that not everyone buys into the concept and practice of mediation. It’s not the easiest to master and more often than not, it doesn’t seem possible to actually clear your head. But what many don’t realize is that part of the practice of mediation is that time of racing thought. For many, the act of sitting down and carving out the time to focus on deep breathing is helpful in and of itself. Practice “clearing your mind” by repeating a mantra that keeps you grounded like “I am strong” or “I am enough”. If you really want to get fancy try one like, “The Universe is for me, and so is everything else.”
If you’re a mediation novice and not sure it’s for you, dip your toes in and try this mediation from Yoga with Adriene or the Headspace app.
How to Cope with Stress
There are a few different ways you can go about managing your stress levels as a means of taking care of yourself. We know you won’t be able to avoid stressful situations, which is why we believe coming up with healthy coping mechanisms is the best place to start. Embrace healthier habits like getting enough sleep and drinking enough water. Get your servings of fruits and veggies. Move when you can. Reach out for support from a therapist or counselor if you feel that’s what you need.
Stress Management and the Body with Zock Chiropractic
Stress can affect any and every aspect of your life. It affects your emotions, thinking ability, and even physical health. However, no two people interpret stress in the same way. People handle stress differently. And because of that, symptoms of stress can vary. And even others could be the same symptoms as other medical conditions. This is why it’s crucial to talk to your doctor!
Part of achieving our best physical and emotional health is through chiropractic care and massage therapy. Chiropractic care is focused on allowing our spine and nerves to work to their potential. This results in not only allowing our organs to function but for them to function to their best ability. Dr. Zock would love to discuss your concerns in regard to resetting your health. Her vast knowledge of natural supplementation and body processes make her a great guide in helping you make the best choices for your body. Our offices are closed as a means to practice social distancing for the general wellbeing of the population. But you can contact our office for a private session if you are experiencing extreme pain or immobility.
* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.