There’s no denying that the last two years have been a trying time for all of us. The uncertainty of COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns has had a dramatic impact on all of our lives in Melbourne, and carrying this stress around inside you is not good for your health.
If you’re feeling anxious about the pandemic, concerned for friends and family or simply feeling frustrated by the restrictions, there are some things you can do for yourself to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
Staying in touch with your loved ones is extremely important, and video calls are preferable because it allows us to visually engage with one another and feel connected even if we are at home alone. Routine is also very important – especially if you’re working from home, as the lines between our home and place of work get blurred.
Here are some anxiety coping strategies for helping you to combat stress during COVID-19 lockdowns.
Being stuck at home can make you feel lazy and unmotivated but in reality, these feelings of guilt are often undeserved.
A good trick for coping with this anxiety is to keep a pen and paper with you, and write down every little activity you carry out over the course of the day – tasks around the house, errands, work projects, phone calls with friends and family, and so on. Once you read through this list at the end of the day, you’ll often be surprised by how much you’ve achieved in a single day, and this will help you to feel more productive, and less stressed.
It also serves as a good time management tool if you continue to do this every day, as you really get to understand what you are doing with your time.
This one should be obvious. Aside from staying in shape, our bodies need physical exercise for releasing hormones in our brains, which boosts our mood and helps us to be more productive. Exercise is essential for coping with stress and anxiety during COVID-19 lockdowns.
There are plenty of at-home exercises you can engage in on a daily basis without any need for special equipment; such as jump squats, split lunge jumps, push-ups, plank up-downs, bicycle crunches, burpees and more.
Despite everything that’s been happening since March 2020, many of us neglect to acknowledge that this pandemic has played a huge role in our feelings of negativity and anxiety.
Try not to be so hard on yourself for feeling down, as this creates an unhealthy cycle. Instead, try to remind yourself that you are doing the best you can given the current circumstances, and don’t forget to treat yourself.
Buy that item of clothing you’ve been looking at online for months. Order a pizza for dinner. Do what you need to do in order to cheer yourself up, and enjoy it.
This is easier said than done, so it helps to actually make a list of the things that you can still do during lockdown. This way, you can review it whenever you’re feeling bored or looking for something to do.
There’s no shortage of DIY kits for various activities that you can purchase online, and perhaps starting a new hobby that you can do of an evening in front of the TV, for example, will do wonders for your state of mind.
If you can’t help thinking about the things that aren’t currently an option, instead make a list of the things you will do once we come out of lockdown, what order you’ll do them in and so on. This process will ensure you really make the most of it when the time comes.
When we feel stressed, anxious or depressed, this interrupts the flow of energy through our body. Think of stress like a roadblock that stops your qi (energy) from flowing naturally through your body’s various pathways. This leads to problems with digestion, blood pressure, pain and the ability to sleep.
The objective behind acupuncture is to release your endorphins, which essentially serve as your body’s natural painkillers. This works to alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety, while the improved circulation of blood throughout your body helps to oxygenate the tissues and flushes out undesirable chemicals like cortisol.
Of course, the relaxing environment and calming nature of an acupuncture session also does wonders for helping you hit the reset button on your stress levels, so that you can leave your appointment feeling rejuvenated and revitalised.
Essendon Natural Health specialises in holistic natural health treatments that aim to improve our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. In addition to acupuncture, we can also help with digestive health, mood balance and sleep support, pain and injury management, natural dermatology and other holistic natural health services.
B.C.M (Hons), C.Clin.Prac (China), C.Toyohari. Registered Acupuncturist and Herbalist. Integrative Natural Medicine Practitioner.
Robert is a passionate and warm practitioner who has an extensive knowledge of integrative and functional natural medicine. He is down to earth and has an interest in organic foods, gardening and sustainable living. With over a decade of experience, he is renowned for being very thorough by both fellow practitioners and patients alike.