Managing stress-levels during COVID-19
Nearly everyone has experienced at least some anxiety during COVID-19. Whether it is intense and constant stress or just slightly overwhelmed by it all, the times feel dark and uncertain. From early 2020 until the time this article was written (Fall 2020), COVID has closed down much of the world. Precious milestones for the class of 2020, Spring Break vacations, funerals, weddings, and births have been drastically altered or flat-out canceled in response to the world’s ever-evolving state of crisis.
Not to mention the worry about the health implications that come with a pandemic. Many of us have been infected, know people who have been infected, and have even lost loved ones due to the coronavirus.
A Pew Research survey showed that one-third of Americans experienced high-levels of psychological distress at some point during the most dramatic points of the coronavirus outbreak. More than half (55%) of people who describe their financial situation as poor have experienced high levels of distress.
There are ways to boost your mental health to make you less susceptible to dark or anxious feelings. Keep in mind, that with self-care comes self-improvement, and with self-improvement comes consistency and discipline in your actions. Small, but daily habits can generate a wave of positive change. Maintaining a consistent routine will help to set your mind on the path towards positivity and mental strength.
Here are some daily ways to create a less-anxious 2020:
Talk to yourself
Talking to yourself may seem a little strange. You may even feel a little crazy doing it. Just remember, you are a person. People need to hear they are capable of doing something and capable of getting through a hard time. Sometimes, the person that tells you, “you can do it”, has to be you.
It isn’t easy and it will take some practice, but interrupting your thought process is crucial for developing a new mindset. Instead of, “This is so horrible. I will never get through this. This is going to ruin me financially.” try thinking or saying out loud to yourself, “This is so horrible. But, I will get through this. I don’t know how, but I know I am strong. I have been through hard times before.” The key is to do it over and over again, with every negative thought, until one day it is just a habit to uplift yourself and change the way you think about your troubles.
Will talking to yourself fix your finances? Nope. But, it will reduce your anxious feelings and help you develop a clear path to repairing what has been lost during the pandemic.
Establishing a routine (including time for things you love!)
Many of us have been thrown out of our element. Our jobs closed down, our schools closed down, and we were thrown into homeschooling, working-from-home, or straight up loss of income. Plus, we have to worry about our kids getting sick or if the store is going to have what we need. It can be easy to feel unmotivated to get dressed or maintain any sort of routine.
Establishing a routine can help you and your family experience a sense of normalcy. In a world that is constantly changing, knowing what to expect can drown out some of the anxious noise we experience throughout the day. Creating an entire routine is overwhelming, so start with one small thing like taking a shower and getting dressed when you wake up. Many times, your routine will create itself.
It is also important to make time for your passions, no matter what they are. Your love for the movie theater may not be feasible right now, so create a theater at home. Video chatting with long distance family and friends as you watch the movie together can help spark the community-feel we get at the theater.
Staying clean and taking immune boosting supplements
Former American professional soccer player Heather O’Reilly said “You can only control what you can control.” This mindset is important to remind ourselves of during these anxiety-inducing points in history. When you are in public or even at home, control what you can and forget about what you cannot.
Staying clean, frequently washing your hands, sanitizing commonly used items like your keys, phone, wallet, debit card, etc., and taking immune boosting supplements like vitamin C are all ways you can take more control of your own health.
Taking CBD on a routine-basis
Research shows that CBD has the potential to reduce anxious feelings and alleviate stress - without many side effects. According to one study exploring CBD for anxiety, “In general, CBD was well-tolerated and associated with minimal adverse effects, with the most commonly noted adverse effects being fatigue and sedation.” The study concludes that “CBD has a promising role as alternative therapy in the management of anxiety disorders.”
CBD works by interacting with our body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is widely studied, yet seldom talked about. The endocannabinoid system has various receptors that are ready and designed to receive cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are naturally-occurring compounds and they are found in both the cannabis plant and the human body. Phytocannabinoids are found in the cannabis plant, as well as in low concentrations of other plants. Endocannabinoids are those that are produced by our body.
You wouldn’t be the only one to utilize CBD’s balancing benefits during the pandemic. The cannabis industry (including CBD), has seen a huge spike in sales in response to COVID-19. The Brightfield Group surveyed consumers at the beginning of the pandemic who have used CBD in the past 12 months - and nearly 50% have stocked up or plan to stock up on CBD to help them navigate these anxious times.
An easy way to incorporate CBD into your wellness routine is by eating gummies! Oncali’s CBD gummies contain 6 mg of CBD per gummy, and it is recommended to take two at a time. Their sweet berry taste can help curb cravings and stop a sweet-tooth in its tracks. Some people take two doses a day, while others thrive on a single dose in the morning or at night! The best way to determine your individual dose is to start with one and adjust accordingly based on how you feel.
Keep in mind, if you are new to CBD (or have only used it sparingly) you will need to use it on a regular basis for 30-60 days before deciding that it doesn’t work for you, it needs a chance to build itself up in your body. A lack of cannabinoids can actually lead to a condition called Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome.
Please consult with a CBD-educated physician before making alterations to your current medications/medical routine.