2020 is one year we will remember for a very long time. 2020 is the year when everything changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The safest we can be is at home, but staying inside for such a long time isn’t always the cozy afternoon it seems to be. Why? Because it’s not a choice and because there is still an ongoing pandemic that we are dealing with worldwide. Dealing with this has triggered anxiety in all of us, and while there isn’t much we can do about the pandemic, there are some important points we can improve in our lives to make this time we spend inside easier and maybe even pleasant.
Point 1 – Improve What You Read
It is very important that we stay up to date with the latest news about the pandemic to learn how to stay safe during these difficult times. But that doesn’t mean that we should spend hours on end every single day with our eyes peeled on the news. Choose two news sources that you trust the most and limit the number of times you check them to twice a day. Visit one news site in the morning and the other in the evening.
This way, you can stay up to speed with the latest events, you can get your news from several points of view, and you can reduce your exposure to it for the rest of the day. Once you’ve finished reading the news, go on with your day, and focus on other things.
Point 2 – Improve What You Watch
Lockdown has made every day a perfect day for binging. Netflix has been a great companion to us all throughout these months because it is a very powerful distraction. But what you watch during these stressful times has a strong influence on how you feel. Thrillers, horror movies, and even extreme dramas may be exciting to watch but they surround us with a series of emotions that empower our anxiety.
If watching a film is a distraction, make it an escape to somewhere beautiful, positive, cheerful. Instead of binging a show about serial killers, go with a sitcom or a cooking show. Here’s a list of the 150 best feel-good movies. Have you seen all of them? You can even start a small project. Make this your watchlist for the following months, something like Julie and Julia, but with movies that actually help you feel better.
Point 3 – Improve the Way You Sleep
Our sleeping pattern has changed since we’ve moved our lives indoors. We don’t get enough exercise or fresh air, so we can’t sleep as well as we did before. Decreasing the quality of our sleep is one of the factors that bring on the anxiety we’re experiencing, so making some changes will have some very positive effects. Start with what you sleep on. How well do you sleep on your mattress? You can upgrade it quickly and efficiently with a memory foam mattress topper.
This is designed to give you a good night’s rest. It’s soft and squishy and comfortable, but it provides your back with the support it needs, so it actually helps alleviate back pain, among other benefits as explained on the Ecosa blog (we’ll get back to this at point 5). A small change like this can do wonders for your back and for your mind.
Point 4 – Improve the Way You Eat
Not having to go out every day has made most of us indulge in our culinary guilty pleasures far more often than used to do. While pizza and fried goods are delicious, eating them for an extended period of time is not good for our health. Aside from the weight gain, unhealthy (yet scrumptious) food affects how we sleep and it makes us prone to anxiety, depression, and many other mental health hazards. Switching to a healthier diet will not only make us look better, but it will actually help us get through these difficult times easier by reducing our predisposition to anxiety. Here’s what Harvard specialists have to say about nutrition targeted to ease anxiety.
Point 5 – Improve the Way You Sit
Yes, that’s right, the way you sit. Since we’ve switched to working from home, we’ve improvised work conditions as best as we could. Conference calls from the kitchen table have become a staple during the lockdown and so have worked from our beds, our sofas, or sitting on the floor. While this got the job done, it hasn’t been very good for our health. Incorrect posture can lead to an entire series of ailments, from back pain to carpal tunnel syndrome to tendonitis.
Unfortunately, this also leads to a decreased quality of sleep because sleeping with pain is not easy or relaxing, and, most importantly, to a constant state of unrest. Even small pains that span out to an extended period of time make us agitated and put us into a perpetual bad mood. So, make sure you sit on a proper chair that offers the back support you need and that you work on a proper desk where you can keep your arms in a correct position. It will make a difference in your posture and to your mood as well.
From eating junk food to checking our phones for the news every 5 minutes to binge-watching shows and movies that make us agitated, and all the way to set up improper home offices, there are so many tempting traps that we might fall into during these months we’re spending inside. But making some changes to improve these things will help us feel better, sleep better, and be better equipped to fight off lockdown anxiety.