The COVID-19 pandemic is causing stress and anxiety for all of us.
Whether we or someone we know is waiting for results from a coronavirus test; work in a field where we come into contact with people; know a loved one who is immunocompromised (or are immunocompromised ourselves); have been recently laid off or had our pay drastically reduced; or are healthy and able to work from home but have to look after children, living during a pandemic can take a serious toll on our mental health.
But, there are ways to maintain our mental health, even while we practice social distancing and self-isolation for weeks and perhaps months.
The first step: take a breath
One effective strategy to help manage anxiety is deep breathing exercises, which, as respiratory therapist Sylvia Mortimer tells HuffPost Canada in the video above, can be practiced regularly, “provided that you don’t have any health conditions or concerns.”
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) notes some strategies for staying mentally healthy on its website, including practice relaxation and meditation; eat healthy; be kind to yourself; avoid substance use; challenge worries and anxious thoughts, and seek support.
Learn more about breathing techniques you can do to help ease your COVID-19 anxiety in the video above.
Read more about box breathing, why it works for anxiety and its benefits, via Medical News Today.
Read more about pursed-lip breathing, which helps with shortness of breath and relaxation, via the Cleveland Clinic.
Read more on other deep-breathing exercises, like the one author J.K Rowling recommended, and whether they can help with COVID-19 symptoms.