We live in unprecedented times. COVID-19 anxiety is causing people to worry, ranging from their health and loved ones, to job security and money. Anxiety and stress have spiked tremendously.
I used to suffer from anxiety, all the time. At its low point, among other things, I was unable to fly due to fear.
But then I discovered tools for how to deal anxiety, which I’ll share below. And on a recent flight, we hit tremendous turbulence that caused many passengers to scream. I was totally calm, checked in with my partner, and then look around the cabin to help others.
Below you’ll find 7 tips, to help you overcome anxiety, stress and worry. All have worked for me. Any one of these will provide some relief, do all 7 and you’ll feel much better. And while they may not completely eliminate your anxiety and stress, you’ll definitely feel more calm.
1. Get Exercise – as little as 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise gets your blood moving and oxygenates you. But even better, exercise also releases endorphins, nature’s feel-good chemicals. And although your local gym may be closed, there are plenty of alternatives, ranging from going on a brisk walk, to doing yoga at home.
2. Eat Protein – now more than ever, it’s important to eat a healthy diet. It’s especially important to have protein at every meal, because protein provides the building blocks of neurotransmitters that help you feel more calm and cheerful. Also eat lots of whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits. And avoid simple carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, pastries) and sugars, which will pick you up but then make you crash.
3. Get Supplements – a number of wonderful vitamins will help you feel more calm. They’re safe, inexpensive, and have no side effects. These include GABA, l-theanine, inositol, kava kava and others. You can quickly order any of these on Amazon.com or most vitamin or health food website. Read the directions carefully, as most work best on an empty stomach.
4. Practice Meditation – as little as 10 minutes of meditation, especially early in the morning, will go a long way towards helping you feel calm. Among other benefits, meditation helps calm the mind, by switching your brain from high-beta waves (fight or flight) to delta (deep relaxation). And by focusing on your breath, you can more quickly learn to identify thoughts that cause anxiety, and dispel them.
5. Get Connected – as we practice social distancing, it’s more important than ever before to connect with others. Try reaching out to family and friends, and share your feelings: when you feel it, you begin to heal it. There are also plenty of free support groups offering phone meetings, such as Emotions Anonymous.
6. Challenge Thoughts – it’s said that fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real, or Future Events Already Ruined. One thing that works for me, is remembering nothing I’ve ever feared has come true. While COVID-19 might bring challenging times ahead, chances are, your worst fears will not come true.
7. Practice Mindfulness – among other tasks, the human mind is designed to identify and provide solutions for danger. But there’s zero benefit to rumination, revisiting the same problems or worries over and over. Try instead focusing on the sound and the feel of your breath, looking clouds or trees, and just be in the moment. Allow your mind to rest.
Now more than ever, we are here to serve each other, to help our brothers and sisters worldwide. If you would like any more tips on how to deal with anxiety, or if you just need to reach out and connect with someone, please contact me. I will personally respond to each and every email.
And for more information, see this new employee training video Feel Calm at Work: Tools for Anxiety Video
Here’s wishing you the best of health, peace and prosperity, now and always.
President, Diversity Resources