Coping With Quarantine Anxiety
Merriam-Webster defines anxiety as “an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physical signs, by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it.”
As is understandable in the midst of a global pandemic, we can all expect to experience anxiety in the coming days. Whether that anxiety stems from having to work at home, from not being able to run your regular errands, from not being able to attend events, or from the general existential threat of COVID-19, the symptoms of this anxiety can be debilitating. As a matter of fact, the most common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid breathing
Severe anxiety can even induce sometimes-dangerous symptoms, the most common being gastrointestinal problems, commonly in combination with gastrointestinal pain. These symptoms can debilitate your body and leave you feeling weak. They can also lead to problems with eating and digestion, posing a direct problem to trying to stay healthy while stuck at home.
In a time of quarantine, a time when we must learn to be self-sufficient and manage our daily lives within the confines of our homes while still trying to lead healthy lives, we do not need to be worrying about anxiety and the problems associated with this debilitating mental health disorder.
Luckily, there are certain actions you can take to protect yourself from quarantine anxiety. For those of us who have dealt with anxiety before, we know that keeping ourselves busy and performing certain tasks can help alleviate some of these anxiety-induced symptoms. For those of us utilizing the power of CBD treatment, we know that CBD oil and other CBD-infused products can aid in managing these symptoms as well.
But being stuck at home poses its own limitations. In regular times, you may have taken yourself out for a walk in order to ease your anxiety. You may have even coped through shopping or visiting your favorite cafe or restaurant.
However, these out-on-the-town options may now pose a risk to your and your loved ones’ health, meaning you have to find new, creative ways to ease anxiety from within your home. That’s why we are here to explore some of the most impactful ways to overcome quarantine anxiety, as well as the anxiety that may come from having to work at home.
Exercising While Quarantined
Exercise has long been considered vital for maintaining not only our physical fitness, but our mental fitness as well. This is because regular exercise has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. But how?
Exercise has been an area of scientific investigation for centuries, and one of the most widely-accepted effects of physical activity is its ability to reduce fatigue, improve alertness and concentration, and enhance overall cognitive function. In this way, exercise works to alleviate pain, releasing endorphins in the brain.
Endorphins are known as our bodies’ natural painkillers, and they are used to fight off pain within the body. These powerful chemicals have also proven effective at improving sleep (including both our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, acting as a possible counter to stress-induced insomnia), decreasing tension, elevating and stabilizing mood, and improving self-esteem.
While quarantined, it’s important to get as much exercise as possible. Without the ability to walk around town and undergo routine physical activities normally available within our communities, we must be able to find at-home workouts and aerobic exercises that help us produce endorphins and fight off the anxieties we feel while under self-isolation. Quarantine can easily deplete our energy levels, affecting our ability to concentrate and further increasing stress. This can be especially detrimental for those stuck working from home. However, we can easily fight these negative side effects of quarantine with exercise.
And for the inactive among us, remember: it doesn’t take much. In fact, it only takes about 10 minutes of exercise to begin producing the endorphins that alleviate anxiety. Furthermore, because most of us don’t enjoy the luxury of an at-home gym, about 15 minutes of aerobic or cardio exercise successfully matches about 45 minutes of weight training.
Here are a few CBD Choice tips for getting your heart rate up while stuck at home:
- Squats & Lunges: workout your lower body with squats and lunges. These exercises will reduce fatigue, mainly in your legs and thighs. They will also help you to stretch your muscles in a low-energy environment.
- Wall Sits: as much as we hate to admit it, wall sits are incredibly beneficial for an at-home workout. All you need is some free wall space and you’re on your way to a successful quarantine-anxiety-relieving exercise.
- The Infamous Plank: find some comfortable floor space and challenge yourself to some daily planks. These notoriously ab-building workouts require only about 1 minute of intense exercise, making them perfect for an easy at-home anti-anxiety exercise.
- Don’t Forget the Classics: push-ups and sit-ups are key to any workout, no matter if you’re at the gym or – in our case – confined to your home. These basic workouts get your heart rate moving, giving you that aerobic influence you need.
Meditation While Quarantined
While some of us are more athletically-inclined, able to receive our needed anxiety relief through at-home exercise, meditation stands as a great alternative for those of us not looking to sweat it out while quarantined.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, “Some research suggests that practicing meditation may reduce blood pressure, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression, and insomnia.” That’s because meditation is a practice based on calming both the body and mind.
Plus, meditation can easily be performed from right within your home, making adding this mindfulness practice to your daily quarantine routine a breeze.
And don’t worry, CBD Choice has some tips for practicing meditation:
- Find Your Space: find an area of your home free of excess noise and distractions and prep it to your liking. Light candles, burn incense– whatever you need to do to remove all bad energy from a particular space.
- Find Your Position: whether you prefer to sit criss-cross and hum Buddhist hymns or you prefer to lay silent on your back, that is entirely up to you. What’s important here is that you find a position you can hold for up to 30 minutes.
- Set a Timer: before you begin, set a timer for how long you wish to meditate. If you’re using a phone timer, make sure to turn your ringer volume down so as to not pull yourself anxiously out of your meditation routine.
- Play Music: despite popular belief, meditation doesn’t have to be done in silence! In fact, we at CBD Choice believe that playing soft, quiet, calming music in the background can greatly increase the mindfulness of your meditation, allowing your body and mind to be lulled into a trance by the tracks of your choice.
Cooking While Quarantined
One of the easiest tasks you can perform to ease quarantine-related anxiety while stuck at home is cooking. Why? Because most every home, apartment, commune, dormitory, or studio has a kitchen, and we’re willing to bet that you have a few pots and pans lining the cupboards.
Cooking deals with a variety of hands-on tasks, all at once: washing vegetables, prepping, cutting, sauteing or frying, baking, toasting– and then afterward, cleaning! This makes cooking the one-stop-shopping activity for easing anxiety, as working with our hands allows us to focus primarily on the tasks in front of us instead of the worrisome news traveling all around the world right now.
Plus, the best part of cooking as an activity? The end result is food! Who doesn’t love a good meal? While in self-isolation, use this time to bolster your cooking skills, learn how to cook your favorite meals, and prepare delicious entrees for your housemates, friends, and family alike. We at CBD Choice have also developed a variety of CBDelicious food and drink recipes to help get you started:
- St. Patrick’s Day-Inspired CBD Recipes
- CBD-Infused Coffee Recipes
- Super Bowl-Inspired CBD Snack Recipes
- Thanksgiving-Inspired CBD Recipes
- CBD-Infused Guacamole Recipe
- CBD-Infused Acai Smoothie Recipe
- CBD-Infused Chihuahua Tequila Drink Recipe
- CBD-Infused Chocolate & Coffee Bark Recipe
Reading While Quarantined
Literature has long been an escape from the troubles of reality, offering safe haven in faraway worlds created by talented writers and storytellers alike. The link between reading and stress relief has long been studied, and many experts believe that reading books has the ability to distract your mind from the anxieties going on in the world around you.
This can be especially helpful while quarantined, as the world around us at this moment is less than ideal. Furthermore, we at CBD Choice know a thing or two about a neglected bookcase and believe right now is as good as any opportunity to get through your reading list.
For quarantine anxiety relief, it is recommended that you read fiction instead of nonfiction, or if you're more inclined towards the factual pursuits, read pieces of nonfiction that focus on heartwarming events in history. Reading nonfiction that contains overly graphic or violent imagery can potentially induce further anxiety.
Learning a New Skill While Quarantined
Has there been something you’ve wanted to try for a long time but never had the time to sit down and try it? Well, now’s your opportunity!
With the power of the internet, invest your time towards learning a new skill. Things like learning a new instrument or learning a new language, while challenging, give you the chance to occupy your mind and develop a long-lasting skill that could last a lifetime. Tasks such as learning music and learning language have also been shown to reduce anxiety because they occupy the forefront of your mental capacity, taking the edge off the world around you.
Reducing Quarantine Anxiety
The world may have been brought to a halt, but that doesn’t mean we should stall ourselves as well. It’s important that we keep our bodies and minds active during this time of self-isolation so that we can maintain our health and wellness, overcoming the stress and anxiety inherent to quarantine.
With nothing but time on our hands now, find what works for you. There is more to isolation than meets the eye, and we at CBD Choice are here to help with whatever you may need.