I recently found out that one in five people have mental health conditions and as the number of COVID-19 cases increase, so does the associated anxiety. I never thought much about my mental health. I have always been a happy, social, and positive person. So, like anything else in life, if it doesn’t apply to you, you don’t pay attention to it.
Lately, I find myself feeling anxious and a bit out of sorts. I started thinking about why. First, the obvious, living in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic. It doesn’t help that I live in one of the epicenters of the pandemic – Miami-Dade County. I am also passionate about wearing a mask and get stressed out when others don’t wear one or wear it wrong (please cover your nose!). I even wrote a blog post about it. Second, and although not a significant factor, mosquitos and the transmission of West Nile and Dengue Fever. Yes, I know the chances are slim, but a reality that exists in a hot, humid climate. So yes, the thought has crossed my mind. Third, the political climate in our country. I’ll leave it at that. Finally, it is hurricane season and an active one at that. As I recently told a friend, in our current environment, hurricanes are the cherry on the sundae. Putting this in black and white, I can see why I’m not my usual chipper self!
I’m doing my best to find solutions to reduce my anxiety and thought I’d share what’s working for me:
- Breathing. As simple as this may sound, I’ve found that taking 6 – 8 deep breaths calms me. I do this every night before going to sleep.
- Cut down on watching the news. This is challenging as with not a lot of live sports on TV (thank God this is getting better) and the new season of TV shows off on summer hiatus, there’s not much to watch. So, I’ve turned to movies. I’ve watched more movies in these last couple of months than I have in the previous five years!
- Walking. I’ve increased my walking from just on the weekends and have added a couple of days during the week. This is a bit of a double-edged sword for me as some people walking on Brickell still don’t wear masks, but I’m trying to control my stress about that. After all, I remind myself that they only go by you for a couple of seconds! #wearamask
- Reading trashy novels. I know that I should be reading professional development books, but the truth is that nothing takes your mind away from the pandemic like a juicy novel, think Danielle Steele.
- An attitude of gratitude. I remind myself how lucky I am and what a great life I have. I have a truly awesome, loving family, great friends, I feel fortunate to have a job, and I live in a wonderful place. I am blessed.
For all of you who like me haven’t paid much attention to our mental health and are feeling a bit off, you are not alone. Hopefully, you will read my suggestions and see if any of them work for you. There are many other things you can do to help alleviate some of the anxiety including yoga, art classes, and meditation. At Sapoznik, we created a virtual wellness calendar with all sorts of classes that are updated weekly and are complimentary. I encourage you to check it out at www.sapoznik.com.
I am always looking for ideas on things to do, movies to watch, or books to read. Leave your recommendations below in the comment section!
Written by Beatriz Lucki, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Sapoznik Insurance