When you’re a highly sensitive person, anxiety and stress can easily overwhelm you during this pandemic. These feelings may escalate even more as we all self-quarantine and practice social distancing because you start worrying about your loved ones in addition to yourself.
Worrying about coronavirus is natural, especially if you’re a highly sensitive person. However, you must find ways to maintain your mental health and stay balanced. If you’re highly sensitive and struggling to manage your anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic, start implementing these five tips from mental health experts.
1. Limit the news.
If you are a highly sensitive person, you probably feel things deeply and experience others’ pain as if it is your own. Therefore, you need to limit the amount of media you consume during this very difficult time.
Get alerts from the government and your doctor, but avoid becoming overwhelmed by scheduling your news intake. In fact, experts recommend that you schedule three 30-minute periods of news or social media consumption per day. This will keep you up to date without allowing the news to consume your thoughts all day long. Also, step away from the screen at least one hour before bedtime so that you can maximize your sleep.
2. Keep your surroundings harmonious.
Home is usually a refuge for the highly sensitive person. But right now, chances are that your home is also your workplace or school, too. To maintain harmonious surroundings, set aside a space in your home that’s just for you. Don’t allow any clutter, work materials, or other people into this private, peaceful space.
Also, keep the rest of the house as free of clutter as possible by cleaning up at the end of each day. If you have roommates or children, enlist their help to clean up the home so that it’s not all on your shoulders.
3. Don’t forget to schedule “me time.”
If your partner is working from home, sit down and negotiate how you’ll create time for togetherness as well as solitude. If you’re alone, create large and small daily rituals that give you a feeling of accomplishment. Clip the brown leaves off your houseplants, check in with friends, or commit to a creative project. Adding activities into your day that help you feel fulfilled will alleviate anxiety and fill you with positive emotions.
4. Indulge your senses.
You have limited ability to change the big picture right now, but small comforts can help reduce the intensity of your emotions. So, light a scented candle, listen to music, watch live-stream performances, bake your favorite cookies, arrange cut flowers, or use essential oils. Find anything that will engage multiple senses and help ground you when anxiety starts to consume you.
5. Nourish your soul in the community.
Houses of worship, meditation centers, and yoga studios are closed, but many are offering opportunities for connection and community right now online. Many therapists and health professionals are offering virtual sessions, too. You can also find ways to give back during this time by picking up groceries for an elderly neighbor or ordering food from a local restaurant that’s struggling. When you interact with your community, you’ll nourish your soul.
Although many of us feel helpless during this worldwide pandemic, you can take back control by developing a plan for handling your anxiety and overwhelming emotions during this time. As highly sensitive people, we must prioritize self-care even more than normal in the wake of difficult times. By using these tips, though, you can take control of your emotions and stay grounded during this time.