4141 6th Ave Suite C, Tacoma, WA 98406| (253) 525-2424

Managing Anxiety and Stress in COVID-19 Quarantine


Hey everyone, it’s Kayla, your Millennial Therapist and owner of Reclaiming Stories Therapy. Today I’m going to be talking to you about how to deal with anxiety and stress during quarantine and COVID-19. All right, let’s talk about it.

So it’s so important for us to continue to take care of ourselves in these times. I know everything is still stressful, still really high anxiety producing. Um, and now we’re entering into a new phase where we’re starting to reopen things in Washington State. Um, and we’re all kind of trying to figure out what does that mean, what does that look like? Um, wherever you’re at right now, we’ve been through three months almost of quarantine and I think a lot of us have now gotten in the rhythm and are used to being home a lot. Um, and now we’re having to figure out, okay, what does it look like for us to now start to reopen the economy? And what is it going to look like? What is it going to look like to be out in the world again?

Maybe you’re going to go back to work. Maybe you’re not. Maybe you are in a new job, maybe you need to find a job. Maybe, um, you know, you have to go back to work, but your kids still are out of school and so figuring out childcare. There’s so many things, um, that we’re having to figure out, that we’re having to grieve, a lot of events that were canceled. Um, that now we’re having to figure out, okay, how are we going to, you know, celebrate and do things that we want to do even though we still have to social distance and do some of these things. So lots of stress, lots of anxiety. And I want to give you some tips on how to deal with that.

So my number one tip is take time for yourself. Still create that routine and that plan for how you want to incorporate self-care. Um, and sometimes, you know, making that plan may look like making a budget or something like that, that if you are still really dealing with financial issues and are feeling really anxious around trying to plan for the future, sit down and make that plan. Write it out. Um, talk with your partner, if you have a partner. Talk with family members, if you’re able to talk to family members. Talk to friends, if you’re able to do that. Um, and sit down and really make the plan for yourself so that you can get it out of your mind and onto something that’s concrete and can help you kind of formulate how do we take our next steps, um, more broadly, though, just making sure that you have time every day or as many days as possible to really take that time for yourself and um, that looks like whatever you want it to look like.

Um, for myself, I really enjoyed taking walks with my dog most nights. Um, and then I’ve been trying to really take some time for myself in the morning as well to do some meditation and yoga. So really trying to prioritize yourself. I know it feels like, especially once we get into a routine, then we feel like, “Okay, I need to be productive and doing other things and it’s not so much just focusing on my self-care in quarantine anymore.” Um, so some of that can kind of get left by the wayside again. Um, but it’s really, really important to continue to do that and to continue to prioritize yourself. And even after quarantine, it’s so important for us to continue to prioritize ourselves and take care of ourselves because if we don’t, it can wreck havoc on our health, it wracks havoc on our relationships and just kind of life in general.

So being kind to yourself and taking care of yourself is number one.

Um, number two is exercise. So exercise is actually one of the number one ways to work your body through stress and anxiety. So when we’re feeling stressed and anxious, our body goes through this process that it turns on what is called, um, the sympathetic nervous system. And so that is our fight or flight system. And we get flooded with a specific hormone called cortisol. Um, you know, our heart rate goes up, our muscles get filled with blood so that we can, you know, do what we need to do either run away or fight whatever threat was coming after us. Um, and in modern days, we don’t have like a tiger running at us that we have to fight off like we had to in cave person days. So a lot of our stresses are dealt with kind of in our minds and in our bodies and our bodies never have a chance to work through that cycle like it did when we used to have something physical to do, like fighting or fleeing.

And so exercise is one of those ways that it helps us move through that cycle and moves our body through that stress cycle. Um, it helps release all the toxins and things that build up in our blood and in our muscles to do those actions that we were meant to do but never actually do anymore. Um, and it helps clear your mind, helps regulate your system. It turns on that, um, parasympathetic nervous system, which is what helps calm our body down. Um, and, and it’s just one of the wonders helps our health. So I know you’ve been preached that a million and one times, but um, it really is one of the best ways to help your body move through your stress and anxiety. So whatever that looks like for you, do something joyful. I really like to, for myself, think about it that it’s not about what my body looks like.

It’s not about weight loss or management. It’s really about staying healthy, keeping my mind clear and keeping my body healthy and feeling good in my own body. So doing something that’s joyful that, um, gives you some kind of pleasure, and makes you feel good about yourself. Um, like dancing or walking or, um, you know, doing vigorous cleaning of the house. Um, sorry, that’s my dog barking. Um, do something that makes you feel good about yourself.

Um, the next one is mindfulness. So exercise is kind of the way to get your body through stress and anxiety. Um, it also helps her mental state too, but um, yeah, and uh, mindfulness is the way that we can stay in the present moment to help us not continue to think about the future. Think about the past. Think about all the things that, um, are keeping us from staying in the present moment.

Cause when we feel anxious, we’re trying to control the things that we feel like we can’t control. Um, that there’s all this ambiguity in life and so we try to do all the what ifs. What if this, what if that, um, and go down, these spirals to figure out things that we can’t necessarily figure out, but it doesn’t help anything because we can’t know. We just can’t. So mindfulness, calming your mind and allowing yourself to stay in the present is something that we as a society do not do very well. We are constantly go, go, go. Um, so it’s really important to find ways to stay in the present and to calm yourself, calm your mind, calm your body. And that really helps reduce stress and anxiety. And one of the big things with mindfulness is breath. So really using your breath and using breathing techniques to calm your mind and calm your body.

Um, this is not a paid advertisement, but Calm, the app. Calm, has been my best friend the last few weeks in quarantine. And I finally said, “I’m gonna really try to do mindfulness.” And I love this app. It has music. It has, um, guided meditations every day or it has a meditation section that you can just go find meditation for whatever type of situation you’re going through that you want meditation for. Um, it has, um, what else does it have? It has stories for bedtime that are very calming stories that help you sleep. Um, it has really cool backgrounds with sounds that, um, come on whenever you open the app. So it’s very calming. Even just from when you open it up, it tells you to take a deep breath and then comes on with your background in the very calming music. So it’s just, it’s a great app.You do have to pay for it to have the full use of it. Um, but it’s for a year and I personally think it’s really good investment. So again, not paid advertisement, but I really like it.

Um, the fourth thing is to journal. So journaling is again, a really good way to like get all the things that are up in here onto paper. Um, and studies have shown that journaling helps us to feel calmer and um, more positive or optimistic. And so I think it’s just really a useful tool to process your emotions, to process your thoughts, especially if you’re home by yourself and don’t always have somebody to talk to or feel like, “I’ve exhausted all my resources for talking for the day and um, I really don’t feel like reaching out to somebody, but I need to process what’s going on for me.” Journaling is a really helpful way to do that.

I think using this medium, and I would suggest writing, you can always type if you want to, but just the act of writing it down I think really helps to see it in a different way, to have different perspectives and to kind of move through it as you were writing, um, and maybe gain some different insights that you didn’t have before. So journaling, recommend it.

Um, next one five is find a support system. So I say find your quarantine buddy. Um, whether that’s an animal. One of my biggest quarantine buddies was or is my dog, Ellie. Um, she’s amazing and is the best cuddle buddy ever. So she keeps me lots of company. Um, but finding, you know, friends, family, depending on who you’re quarantined with, um, but also just people that you can reach out to that you’re not quarantined with, um, that you can really lean on. That this is really a time where we all have to come together as a community. So find those people that are your community that you can lean on and that get you through this time.

My last one because I’m not only a Millennial Therapist, but I’m also a sex therapist in training, HAVE SEX! Kind of goes back to the exercise thing. Um, but having sex and being in an orgasmic state, so even like the state that is kind of the rumbling before an orgasm, um, where it feels really good and it’s a buildup to the explosion, um, that is actually really good for your health. It has tons of health benefits to be in that state. Um, it’s also, you know, usually a mindfulness thing that hopefully, I know a lot of people struggled with this and that’s why I’m sex therapist. But hopefully, um, when you’re having sex, you’re not thinking about a million other things that you’re kind of in the present, you’re in your body, you’re feeling your body, you’re feeling your partner or yourself if you’re self-pleasuring.

Cause that’s awesome too. Um, and it gives you a release. That release and build up is kind of like exercising. You know, you have all this buildup of tension in your body and then all of a sudden you get a release. Um, so sex is just a really great way to manage anxiety, have fun, have some pleasure. Um, and I mean it’s just, it’s a good way to pass the time. So that’s my last tip for you.

Um, if you are really struggling with anxiety and stress, I’m here for you. Um, if you are seeing this on my website, please contact me. I’m still taking new clients. Um, I’m only doing Telehealth right now, but I’m still taking new clients. Um, what else… You can find me on Facebook and Instagram @reclaimingstoriestherapy. Um, my YouTube channel is The Millennial Therapist – RS for Reclaiming Stories.

Um, and I’m now putting these on my website. So if you’re seeing this on my website, um, feel free to peruse the rest of my website and look at all the services that I have. Um, you can contact me through my contact page, fill out the, uh, fillable form, and I’m more than happy to get back to you and talk to you about how we can work together. So, um, I think that’s all my things on how to get in contact with me. So until next time, take care, stay safe, and I will see you in my next video. All right. Take care. Bye.

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4141 6th Ave Suite C
Tacoma, WA 98406

(253) 525-2424

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