04 May How to deal with Covid anxiety
People who have been hit by the virus have it and most people who fear they might get hit have Covid anxiety. So that means almost everyone. The biggest favour you can do for yourself is to stop watching the news, stop reading the news, stop reading all those scary forwards on Whatsapp, and stay away from social media as far as possible. The media thrives on bad news because bad news attracts eyeballs, it gets in advertising revenue, and that is why the media keeps giving you more of it. There’s no money to be made from good news because no one is interested in watching anything that’s not sensational. Staying away from media will take care of a great deal of your anxiety.
But there are other things you can do too to keep anxiety at bay.
1. Pranayama and meditation: Do some slow deep breathing. Anulom-Vinulom can help you calm down and so can abdominal breathing.
Abdominal breathing: Lie down on your back, bend your legs at the knees, and keep your palm on your abdomen. While inhaling slowly, deeply, and gently, your abdomen should rise and you will feel this with your palm. Exhale gently and let your abdomen fall. Do this breathing deeply and gently for 10 rounds and feel relaxed.
Anitya Bhavna is a simple meditation that requires you to sit in a relaxed position and reflect on the following words:
`What is there in the morning is not there in the evening, what is there in the evening is not there in the night.
What was there yesterday is not there today, what is there today will not be there tomorrow.
Everything will pass.
So why should I worry about something that is temporary?’
It’s a simple form of meditation and very comforting.
2. Laughter: Laughter releases endorphins in the body; endorphins are chemicals that make you feel good and promote an overall sense of well-being. Laughter also has the power to heal; Norman Cousins, author of ‘Anatomy of an illness’, was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylosis and the doctors had given up on him. Cousins changed his diet to a healthier one and started watching comedy films, which led to his recovery. So watch a comedy, read a funny book, make jokes, lighten up the atmosphere at home to get rid of the anxiety.
3. Commune with nature: During a lockdown, communing with nature is even more difficult than communing with your neighbour. But there are websites that have live cameras trained on various birds and animals in the wild, and you could visit these sites and get close to nature on your screen. Nkorho Pan watering hole webcam, Nkorho bush lodge, South Africa; Chipmunk log, Colorado; Walruscam, Alaska; explore.org.The Hidden worlds of the National Parks is an interactive documentary and exhibit from Google Arts & Culture, and it lets you take tours of national parks in America.
4. Learn something new: Cooking, stitching, crochet, juggling, guitar, model-building, dish-washing, a new game, a new video game. Finish off unfinished tasks that are pending and you have been unable to attend to because you have been busy, such as putting your finances in order, complete pending assignments. There are many things to learn and do, and by keeping you focused they prevent your idle mind from wandering into the devil’s workshop. So keep yourself busy, keep yourself occupied, keep yourself engaged with things that make you happy.
5. Yoga, exercise, take a walk: There is a tendency to become lazy when you are home-bound during a lockdown. Exercise keeps you fit and busy, it relieves anxiety. If possible go for a walk but make sure you keep your mask on and stay away from crowded places. This is also a good time to go cycling; there is little traffic on the road and it has never been safer to go cycling.
6. De-cluttering: Arranging your clothes neatly in your cupboard, arranging all the stuff you keep in your chest of drawers, on your table, etc can be very relaxing. It’s also a chance to get rid of clothes etc you don’t need and do your good deed for the day by giving them away to someone who needs them.
All the above-mentioned activities will help to keep you happily engaged and to stop being anxious about the present situation.