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Quarantine Anxiety Tips: How to Get Through the “Getting Through”

They say this virus will come in waves. They say anxiety can come in waves too. At least, that’s what happened to me. If you’re feeling anxious this quarantine, you’re not alone. Here are things that have helped me.

First of all, let’s just throw this out there– I have generalized anxiety. If you haven’t seen my YouTube video about it I’ll link it here.

When I first knew we were going to be on lockdown, that first week, I was thriving. To be fair, I was naive… but I think we all were. I don’t think any of us knew how serious this was going to be. So, it was like an early spring break for me! I was super stressed at work with state tests coming up so it felt nice to have time to eat a real breakfast and go for a walk. It may sound strange to say that first week I even liked it.

Then, the fear of the virus set in.

Was I going to get it? Was a loved one I knew going to get it? Was even going to the grocery store safe? I didn’t know. Then, more and more symptoms started arising as being connected to COVID. I started thinking every single thing that was wrong with me was it. However… I also have anxiety. So I played this battle for about two weeks of “is is Corona or am I just anxious?” I cried constantly. I missed my family. I felt trapped. I felt like I was trying to breathe underwater.

Then, around April, things started to calm and clarify. How did I get to that point? Here’s how:

1.) I knew what I was doing was working. I knew that just by me staying put, only going out for groceries, washing my hands, staying safe. I knew that was helping people.

2.) I took comfort in the idea that even if I was going to get it, and it would probably be really bad, I could come out the other side. I stopped worrying about getting it. I just accepted that I probably was going to– but that I was healthy enough to come out of it.

3.) I stopped reading the news. I know it’s good to be informed, but man, when every article is a number games or a death count… I can’t. I had to stop. No more charts. No more briefings. I stopped. This helped.

4.) I started finding joy in things I used to not have time for: painting, reading, calling friends, zoom calls, napping. I started to distract myself with things that brought me little joys. String those together and you will find yourself getting through the day.

5.) I made outside a priority. I made walks (safely done at a distance) a priority. No matter the weather, rain and all, to get outside. Getting outside at least once a day was huge for me.

6.) I remembered how lucky I was. I had Dan to be with every day, I knew my family was healthy, and I knew my friends were safe.

7.) I unified with my city and became, as Cuomo would say, tough. I love NY. I took a great amount of pride and solidarity in this idea that we were in this together. As I’ve said time and time again, in NY you are never alone. I never felt alone.

8.) I took it one day at a time. This is not the time for reinvention. This is not the time for pressure. Take it one day at a time.

I hope this brought you some sort of solace. Know that some days will be good, some days will be really, really good, and others will be bad. It’s okay. Be gentle with yourself. You are doing the best you can.

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