How to Reduce Anxiety | Using Routines to Lower Stress
Have you ever wondered how to reduce anxiety in times of high stress?
These days our routines have been shaken to the grounds. From work and school to our social habits, life as we know it has been put on hold. We are advised to practice social distancing and confined to our homes with no obvious end in sight. This may provoke high levels of uneasiness.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing widespread anxiety and fear around the world. Fear of the unknown and uncertainty that surrounds coronavirus affects everyone. However, those with ongoing anxiety and depression issues are particularly vulnerable.
It is natural to be concerned with this situation. It is normal to experience anxiety over how long this pandemic will last, to be afraid of contracting the coronavirus, or to worry about how coronavirus pandemic will affect your financial situation.
Why Is Routine Important?
For many of us, routine means that we are in control of our lives. Routine provides a sense of security and safety, therefore, alleviating anxiety. It allows us to cope with changes and reduces our stress levels. In times of high anxiety, routines become especially important.
Routine Reduces Anxiety
In days of uncertainty, a routine can be your anchor. No matter what is going on in the outside world, knowing that you will be doing certain things at a certain time of the day provides comfort and helps manage uncertainty.
Coping with a crisis that can last unpredictably long can feel more manageable when you have some sort of structure and routine in place.
Structure and Routine Reduce Stress
Having a daily routine in times of high anxiety can help reduce your stress levels by removing uncertainty out of your daily routine. Surrounding yourself by familiar allows you to feel more in control and less stressed.
Routine Helps Prioritize Self-Care
Having a structure and routine can help keep up healthy daily habits and prioritize self-care. For example, when healthy sleep patterns, exercise, or mindfulness practice are parts of your daily routine, this can make it easier to cope with anxiety and reduce stress.
Routine Protects Mental Health
The predictability of routine offers comfort in times of unpredictability. This helps you relax, and therefore promotes mental health. Following routines doesn’t involve a lot of decision-making, which helps alleviate the anxiety of having to make choices.
How to Follow Routine in Times of High Anxiety
- Keep up routines on a personal level such as giving yourself half an hour a day to enjoy your cup of coffee while watching a favorite TV show or reading a book.
- Kick-off the day with an energizing smoothie or half an hour exercise.
- Write a journal each morning. Journaling can help clear your thoughts, identify and overcome negative thinking patterns and vent your emotions.
- Spend time outside. Go to your garden or balcony if you are in quarantine.
- Make time to talk to friends and family members who don’t live with you.
- Plan activities for the whole family to enjoy (have family meals together, organize a game night once a week, or watch movies together).
Routines are important as they help make a positive impact on our mental health. And in times of high anxiety, preserving your wellbeing becomes a top priority. I hope these tips will help you alleviate some stress during this challenging time, so you can get back to feeling your best!