How To Push Back Pandemic Anxiety (From A Rabbi’s Perspective)

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique and challenging situation where it creates a considerable amount of anxiety and stress. For some individuals, the situation allows a gain of control over their emotional and mental strength. But for most, the struggle results in a significant fall back into their overall well-being. So when trying to manage stress and anxiety, there are several strategies we can utilize.


Focus On What You Can Control

One of the best things to do in this situation is to allow things to happen. It is essential for this moment not to focus on things we can’t control. So instead of adding a lot of fear into our lives, it is better if we take time to list down the things we can control. It can be something that benefits our physical, emotional, and mental health. It can be as simple as deciding what we want to watch or what we want to do together with our family. What we want to eat for dinner, or what exercise we should take in a day. Those may seem small things, but since we are in a pandemic time where there’s so much in life is out of control, those little things can become very comforting.


Avoid Information Overload

While it is essential to get informed of what is happening to the world right now, it is vital that we keep ourselves away from negativity as much as possible. We don’t want to overload our minds with tons of information that might not be true at all. Thus, we need to take a break from all the stress we get from the outside world so we can manage to stay calm. So instead of spending too much time watching television news and updates about the development of the virus, we need to look for relaxing things to do. These can include listening to music, drawing, and painting, learning new skills, or talking to friends via text or chat.


Create New Routines

During this challenging time where everything is changing, it is vital to keep our mental and emotional health intact by creating new routines. And to make it more interesting, we must allow family members to contribute and incorporate things that would be fun to do. These can include playing indoor games, watching selected TV shows, and cleaning the house. It is also better if we try to schedule activities that are too stressful to handle, such as work-from-home. That is because there is a tendency that this task might take a toll on our daily lives and soon take over our supposed time at home.


Embrace Anxiety And Talk About It

Stress and anxiety are normal, especially during this pandemic. Therefore, we must not try to push those emotions away because that’s not going to make it disappear. We need to acknowledge that there is no point in denying what we feel. We must recognize that the more we hold back to that feeling, the more it can make things worse for our overall well-being. So instead of keeping it all inside, it is better if we talk about it. It is okay to acknowledge these unwanted emotions because it will allow us to understand how we can deal with them healthily.

If we want to get through our situations, we need to take things one day at a time. Let us look at each day as a unique day where we can be present emotionally, physically, and mentally. We need to allow creativity to take its time so we can work fresh, stable, and productive. And that is the best way we can fight and manage stress and anxiety caused by this pandemic.