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  • Sometimes, nerve-racking situations make us feel tense, such as the emergence and spread of COVID-19.
  • It can feel like there’s nothing to do but wait it out; however, there are proactive ways to relieve your tense feelings now.
  • First, try going for a walk: it’s still completely safe to be outside, so long as you keep your six feet of distance from others. Spending time in nature will help to calm your anxiety.
  • Also, listen to your favorite music. Do your best to focus on the lyrics, the beat, the tone of voice. And put together some playlists for your day to day activities.
  • You can also find your calm through journaling. Write down your feelings to better understand, process, and then release them.
  • Also, simply spend time engaging in activities you enjoy—there are plenty you can perform from the safety of home like yoga or even just watching funny YouTube videos.
  • Finally, refocus to the here and now. Shift your thoughts away from the worst case scenarios, to the present moment. You are here and you are safe.
  • It’s normal to feel anxious or worried right now. Sit with your feelings and accept that you feel uneasy—then, get back to focusing on what’s in your control.

Sometimes, we face anxiety-inducing situations that make us feel tense—such as the sudden emergence and rapid spread of COVID-19. Naturally, we worry. About our health, our loved ones’ health, job security, the effects of social isolation, and more. This anxiety can cause our muscles to tighten up, our breath to quicken, and our hearts to race. In the moment, it might feel like there’s no escaping this overwhelming worry and fear—but that isn’t quite the case.

You have every right to feel worried and fearful right now. But you don’t have to let this anxiety consume you. There are several simple things you can do right now to relieve these anxious, tense feelings, and find your calm again:

1) Go for a walk.

If you’re feeling tense, take a walk. It’s completely safe for you to spend time outside—so spend as much time as you can out there. Just be sure to maintain your six feet distance from others who are enjoying nature, too. This will quickly help you to calm those nerves, feel grounded again, and restore your calm. Also, exercising (even for a short amount of time) and spending time immersed in nature have both proven to aid in stress relief!

2) Listen to your favorite music.

Another foolproof way to calm your nerves and relax is to listen to music. Put on your favorites and just plug in—focus on the beat, the lyrics, the tone of the singer’s voice. Combine this practice with the former and you have a powerful attack. You can also use this time to bolster your playlists. Create the perfect playlists for working, exercising, and relaxing. This will set you up for greater relaxation and productivity in the future.

3) Journal about your feelings.

Are you feeling anxious? Tense? Worried? Scared? Lonely? Write about it in a journal. This will help you face your feelings head on and release them, so that you can return to calm. If you aren’t used to journaling, know that there aren’t any rules you have to follow! You don’t have to fill pages and pages with long-handed script. You can just jot down a few sentences or let it flow until you don’t feel like writing anymore. Either way, journaling will help you process your feelings and relax.

4) Do something you enjoy.

No this is not a trick! We know this sounds too easy, but it’s true—you can relax and relieve your tense feelings by simply doing something you enjoy. Do you like to do yoga? What about puzzles? Do you enjoy reading? What about watching funny YouTube videos? There are plenty of enjoyable activities you can engage in from the safety and comfort of home.

5) Refocus to the here and now.

Finally, if you’re feeling tense, try to re-center your mind. Focus not on the anxiety-inducing situation at hand, but the right now. You are safe. You’re on your yoga mat, curled up in the nook of your couch with a book, peering over a soon-to-be masterpiece made out of puzzle pieces, or laughing at a silly video. And everything is okay.

In addition to following the above tips, remember that it’s normal and okay to worry. Especially during times of uncertainty, like now. Sit with your feelings and accept that you don’t feel okay right now. Then, get back to practicing the above tips. We hope they help!

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is Senior Writer and Editor at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She is a co-author of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book and has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."

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