8 tips to reduce stress and anxiety
The world is going through difficult times due to the coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19). For many of us, this is causing stress, anxiety and a lot of uncertainty. People living with Parkinson’s disease often also suffer from anxiety and/or depression.
The current pandemic may therefore result in more frequent or more intense episodes of stress and anxiety for them than for the rest of the population.
So how can they be alleviated?
1. Set up a routine
Having a routine is a source of security. Structure your day by setting a schedule for work, leisure, household chores, meals, physical activity and sleep.
2. Keep yourself busy
Being in action keeps your spirits up. Try to alternate and vary physical, intellectual and entertainment activities. How about doing the projects you set aside at home? Clean out your drawers, your mailbox, your closets. Also continue to do the activities you usually enjoy, such as crossword puzzles or reading.
3.Stay Informed and Follow Public Health Guidelines
Staying informed from reliable sources is one way to reduce anxiety. However, avoid watching the news over and over again. Hearing about the pandemic over and over again can become distressing and increase your anxiety level.
4. Listen to yourself
Remain attentive to your emotions, reactions and concerns. Give yourself permission to express them to someone you trust. You can also do this through writing and artwork.
5. Treat yourself to small pleasures
You can, for example, listen to music, take a hot bath, read a magazine, watch a good movie, etc. But rather than opting for sad, anxiety-provoking or violent series and films, choose those that are fun and that will take your mind off things.
6. Exercice daily
Physical activity is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. It can also improve your mood and overall health. Go for a walk if you feel fit.
If you’re in isolation, find ways to exercise at home. Use a chair exercise video, walk up and down the stairs in your home.
7. Pay attention to your diet and sleep
Eat healthy, balanced meals. Avoid alcohol and drug abuse. While a glass of wine can relax, too much alcohol and other substances can affect your mood, sleep and emotional control.
Make sure you get enough sleep. This is especially important for your psychological health.
8. Indulge in a variety of relaxation activities
Relaxation, yoga and meditation are proven ways to reduce and manage stress and anxiety. Note, however, that some people may find the experience unpleasant. It’s up to you to find the activities you enjoy and gradually integrate them into your daily routine.
The current coronavirus pandemic is having an impact on both physical and mental health. No one knows how long it will last or how it will evolve. In the meantime, keep busy, exercise and relax as much as possible. If your symptoms get worse, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare professional.