Everyone is a little extra stressed these days due to the effects of COVID stretching across the world. My anxiety got the best of me last month and I landed in the ER due to a panic attack that made me think I was about to die from a heart attack. The anxiety issue is so widespread, I was even interviewed by Health Magazine for an upcoming article on COVID and anxiety.
After my scary experience, I realized I need to start practicing a little more self-care during this crazy time, and made it a priority to do so. I feel like “self-care” is a term thrown around a lot, and everyone tells you that you need to practice it, but what exactly does that mean? It’s going to be different for everyone, but part of it is paying attention to yourself a bit more, and realizing what changes you need to make to meet YOUR needs when the world is trying to drive you crazy.
A Few Things that Have Helped Me Cope with COVID anxiety:
Cutting down on news and social media
The best way to lessen anxiety is to stop feeding it. The TV and social media are overloaded with bad news, anger and fear. So while I feel it’s important to know what’s going on in the world, I don’t need to hear it constantly. There’s been no huge changes from one day to the next. News Flash: the pandemic is still happening, wear a mask, stay safer at home. That’s pretty much all I need to know for a while.
Taking a daily dose of CBD
I’ve tried CBD before, but usually it was something I took when I wanted to relax, or felt particularly stressed. So I was taking it in response to something. My new approach, which my doctor recommended, was to take it daily to head off the anxiety and stress instead of waiting for it to happen. He suggested I start off with a small daily dose of CBD oil and increase it in steps, as needed, until I started to notice a difference. (*in full disclosure the doctor was one that prescribes medical marijuana. So he is obviously going to be pro-CBD. He said he has seen a lot of patients have good results treating anxiety issues with CBD.)
Around this same time, Jupiter CBD sent me a free bottle to test their product, so I got started right away with a dropperful under my tongue in the morning. I progressed to another round in the evening, and one in the afternoon if I was feeling particularly anxious. Jupiter CBD oil has a nice light peppermint taste so it was really easy to take.
I started to actually notice the effects after about a week of of daily use. The main thing was my response to stressful stimuli- I wasn’t getting that heart-thumping wound-up feeling that had previously been happening several times a day. I’ve now been taking it for a few weeks and plan to keep it up! I actually liked it so much that I joined their affiliate program.
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Focusing on projects
It’s been hard to motivate myself to do things lately, but I know if I can focus on something else for a bit, then I’m not focusing on being stressed. So I try and make time to work on the children’s book that’s been a project for the past year. I’ve also started clearing out old stuff and listing more things on eBay and Poshmark. And I got back into growing veggies and sunflowers in the garden. Shifting my focus to positive things that produce positive results has been very helpful.
Visiting the spa
I’ll be honest, I almost chicken out and let the COVID anxiety get the best of me, but my friend had put down a deposit on a spa day package and I’m not one to bail out like that, so I went and am SO glad I did! Oh, how I needed that. It was wonderful.
We went to the Moroccan Hamman Day Spa in Jacksonville Beach and the whole experience was a little slice of heaven. Once you get your temperature taken at the door, sign a waiver and get a squirt of hand sanitizer, you get to take off your mask and relax in COVID-free bubble of luxury.
We got massaged, steamed and scrubbed until we felt amazing head-to-toe. We also enjoyed a glass of sparkling rosé, hot tea and a fresh fruit martini. I haven’t gotten out much lately, and this was totally worth it.
I’ve definitely been feeling a lot better lately and less anxious. I’m not going to let this pandemic get me down! Hope everyone is finding their own way to get through this and retain a shred of sanity.