COVID anxiety is going around. In the face of the coronavirus and fears about loved ones’ health, the status of our jobs, our 401(k)s and the uncertainty of when life will return to status quo, it’s natural to seek ways to lighten the mood and have a laugh.

According to Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN, an exercise physiologist

We all in a highly stressful and anxiety-inducing situation; really, it’s traumatic. What we’ve all thought of as normal life suddenly and rapidly shifted. What happens is, people start to cope with this stressful situation, and one way is through humor. For some, that’s toilet paper memes and jokes comparing sitting on the couch to being called to war.

Coping with COVID Anxiety

Here are some tips from Scritchfield about coping with COVID anxiety:

  • In today’s environment, we may need different ways to cope.
  • You could try moving your body in ways you don’t normally, such as taking a walk with your kids or trying a dance cardio class online.
  • Another idea is to finally download a meditation app or limiting social media exposure to 15 minutes a day.
  • She acknowledges that emotional eating can be a bonding activity.
  • We use food to heal after a death and to connect with new neighbors. It helps us relieve stress because it’s something we can control.

Don’t Obsess about the Quarantine 15

Scritchfield suggests that if thoughts of the “quarantine 15” trigger you, take this time to be curious about if you are living with food rules, perhaps making certain foods or food groups off-limits. Because of the pandemic-enhancing anxiety, you could feel more urge to control yourself around food. This is not the time to impose too many rules on yourself.

Cut down on anxiety about eating by focusing on your values and what matters to you. What makes me feel calm, happy and peaceful? Chances are, you care more about things like the health of your family and if you’ll keep your job than about how much you weigh. Use that as your guide to figure out the best ways to manage your mental and physical health.

  • Our expectations have changed, and suddenly these things we think are important on a daily basis have become less so.
  • If we are lucky enough to have our physical health and our family’s health, to get groceries and to get through each day, we are doing good in place of a global pandemic. We are expressing gratitude that we have food to eat tonight.
  • If, once the quarantine is over, your body has changed, be kind with yourself.
  • It’s not likely to be detrimental to your health, because you were coping with elevated stress and anxiety by taking care of your mental health during the pandemic.
  • It may just be what your mind and body needed.
  • Well-being should be the top priority, so focus on things to manage anxiety like sleep, movement and connecting with others.
  • Times like this are supposed to teach us there’s more to humanity than weight and bodies.

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