Whether you are a teenager, parent, or in a relationship, the experience with Covid-19 brings about its own challenges with anxiety. This is no different for the single person living alone during this time. Anxiety could cause a person to binge on video games, Netflix, and Cheez-Its (which are delicious!), or experience bouts of anger.
There are some characteristics when we may most feel anxious:
Feel Most Anxious #1 — We Feel Anxiety When Stressed:
When we don’t have people family or a partner living with us, many of us focus on our jobs or education. We fill our schedules and we place unfair expectations upon ourselves.
Feel Most Anxious #2 — We Feel Anxiety When Catastrophizing:
Catastrophizing is what happens when a person takes something small and turns it into something much bigger in our minds. We take a 1 on the “problem scale” and find a way to turn it into a 10 very quickly.
Feel Most Anxious #3 — We Feel Anxiety When Disempowered:
Feeling like we have “no control” is disempowering and induces stress and anxiety.
Feel Most Anxious #4 — We Feel Anxiety When Overthinking:
A person can get stuck or locked into a problem or concern that raises our concerns and can cause us to spiral.
Feel Most Anxious #5 — We Feel Anxiety When Facing the Unknown:
As humans, we like knowing what is ahead of us. Not knowing what the outcome is going to be causes internal tension and raises anxiety.
Tip # 1 On Calming Anxiety: Seek Out Relationships:
This may be a little tricky under the current conditions under Covid-19, but turning the focus from ourselves to others helps to lessen our own anxiety. Reach out to others, whether friends, family, or by volunteering – in a way that feels safe and responsible to you.
Tip #2 On Calming Anxiety: Thought Journals:
Thought journaling when feeling anxious can help us get out of the pattern of catastrophizing. You can download an example of a thought journal by CLICKING HERE. You may also want to try a mediation app. Headspace, Simple Habit, Calm, and MyLife are just a few that may be worth looking at to help release the inner anxiety or stress.
Tip #3 On Calming Anxiety: Be Empowered:
Placing focus on the things that you can control rather than on what you cannot will free up your mind. You can control your attitude. You can control how you want to treat others and how you want others to feel when they are around you.
Tip #4 On Calming Anxiety: Get Active:
Getting some form of exercise can do a whole lot of good. And it doesn’t have to be strenuous. Go for a walk. Yoga.
Tip #5 On Calming Anxiety: Take One Step at a Time:
How many times have I procrastinated on a project because it has felt too big? Too many times. When I break it down into smaller steps, however, I am able to complete the task. In the same way, we need to take smaller steps when facing unknown outcomes of events. How am I going to prepare a speech or presentation? First start by writing down the title. Then write a paragraph. Then another paragraph. Then a third. Rather than jump to the conclusion or the outcome of an event or task, take on the journey toward one small step at a time. Once you start completing the steps, you’ll gain confidence and momentum.
Living alone with anxiety during Covid-19 can be stressful and painful, but there are steps that can be taken to help calm your mind. Seeking relationships, journal, empowering yourself, getting active, and taking one step at a time will help you to gain the freedom you desire from the anxiety that can be so controlling. And, as always, if you are needing a little more help, a mental health therapist can be a valuable help.
Wellspace Counseling is located in Tualatin, Oregon and serves Tualatin, Lake Oswego, and the Greater Portland Metro Area. To find more information about Wellspace Counseling, visit the at www.wellspacepdx.com.