It’s impossible to feel anxious and calm at the same time. So, when your anxious mind tries to take over, take charge with these four tips.

With the new coronavirus spreading through the world, everyone is feeling a heightened sense of anxiety. Whether it’s concern for your job, financial security, personal safety, your health, or the health of your loved ones, you’re not alone. We’re all facing the future with an extra helping of uncertainty.

If you’ve experienced anxiety or panic before, you’re familiar with its symptoms, sweaty palms, increased heart rate, shallow breathing, insomnia, etc. Anxiety also impacts your perceptions, behaviors, and emotions. It makes you tense, irritable, restless, and unable to concentrate. When anxiety flares, your body is, literally, primed to fight your way through the danger, to run like crazy to safety, or to hide, hypervigilant, awaiting the onslaught of danger to either strike or pass you by.

This survival response, activated by the autonomic nervous system, is useful when confronted with an emergency or imminent physical danger. But on a day-to-day basis, quarantined at home, it can be detrimental to your health and well-being.

Staying calm and level-headed as much as possible is always good advice. These days, it’s more important than ever. Next time your anxious mind tries to overrun your clear thinking, take charge with these tips:

  1. Take care of yourself. Poor eating habits, lack of exercise, and lack of sleep all contribute to your overall state of health. If you eat a mostly healthy diet, get some physical activity every day, and get 7-9 hours of shut-eye each night, you’re likely in good shape. Letting your self-care get out of balance can send your anxiety levels through the roof. Follow the guidelines and recommendations issued by health experts to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy.
  1. De-clutter. Our environment is often a reflection of our state of mind. Is your home or workspace super organized, or does it look like a tornado came through? Maybe you have rooms or specific places that are neat and tidy, but other areas are out of control? If your counter or “special area” is a scrambled mess, chances are your mind is too – and that can cause agitation. Use this extra time at home to clear the clutter from your environment. Then take time to clear your mind of clutter as well.
  1. Practice gratitude. What’s important to you? Take time daily to count your blessings and remember the good things about your life. Being grateful helps keep things in perspective. Since it’s impossible to feel anxious and calm at the same time, even a few minutes of gratitude can shift your mindset for a better day.

No matter what your stressors, allowing yourself to become anxious can only make things worse. Instead, try the tips above. Your head, your heart, and your body will thank you!