How I Stay Productive with Coronavirus Anxiety
Is anxiety the new norm? Racing thoughts and restlessness seem to be part of everyone’s routine as the world hunkers down. But even though the globe feels like it’s in a standstill, life must truck on, not only to help distract but also to ensure that we don’t let fear consume us. So how do you overcome the anxiety spiral? It’s not exactly easy to cross to-dos off your list when you can’t focus or think. As a business owner, health coach, and anxiety sufferer myself, I’ve come up with a list of five tips that have helped me minimize stress, so I can continue with my day.
If you’re prone to anxiety, it’s extremely important to stay aware of your mindset as much as possible. This way, you can catch your spiral in time to turn things around. But how do you stay aware? Take breaks. It’s too easy to go through your day without thinking about what you need or feel, but breaks force you to ask yourself: What do I need right now? Am I hungry? Thirsty? Tired? The more you examine your feelings and take care of them, the more likely you’ll avoid anxious overwhelm. Breaking at least once every two hours does the trick for me.
Such a simple tip can have an enormous impact. I’ve noticed a massive difference in my anxiety when I drink water regularly throughout the day. And after doing some research, I found out why: Hydration can impact brain function, such as concentration, mood, anxiety, fatigue, and memory. And I'm sure we’ve all had a dehydration headache, which can knock you out for an entire day. So drink up! If you don’t like plain water, try sparkling; or add strawberries, cucumber, or kiwi for some flavor.
Eat with Purpose
Are you mindlessly eating your pantry? I’ve done that, too. Unfortunately, constant eating makes me less productive because I end up so lethargic. But when I eat three meals per day, full of fiber, fat, and protein, plus a few snacks in between, my anxiety decreases tenfold because I’m keeping my blood-sugar levels steady and feel full enough to remember that I’m not actually hungry. So before you grab that second sleeve of cookies, stop yourself and ask, What purpose is this serving me right now?
Make a Self-Care List
Sometimes, no matter how much awareness, water, and food you indulge in, you still become anxious and need immediate relief. This is where my self-care list comes in. I pick one thing to do for 20 minutes:
- Sit in the sun
- Write in my gratitude journal
- Cuddle with my dog
- Drink a cup of hot tea
- Go for a walk
- Do a puzzle
- Read a fun book
- Take an Epsom salt bath
A little R&R can do wonders to help you rev yourself back up and boost productivity.
Let Go of Productivity Expectations
What makes anxiety 50,000 times worse? Unrealistic expectations. On days when you have a lot of anxiety, try to reserve judgment about how productive you should be. Sometimes it’s just hard no matter what, and punishing ourselves only makes it worse. Treat yourself kindly. Your mind, body, and to-do list will thank you.