I promised I would share ways to combat anxiety and remain calm as we remain indoors during this global pandemic. Being stuck indoors can become quite boring and extra isolating. Cabin fever is a real thing, and it’s good to do things for ourselves that benefit us mentally as we stay home. I’m naturally a homebody with a travel itch, meaning when I am home I like to stay within my four walls as much as possible but when I want to travel, I want to go on bold adventures and beyond. But remaining indoors indefinitely can have negative effects if we don’t put our mental health first. Here are some ways to remain occupied and at peace while self isolating:
I mentioned previously about battling anxiety during this pandemic that fresh air is so beneficial towards combating anxiety. For those that must remain indoors due to mandated quarantine, opening your windows to let in fresh air will greatly improve your mood. Even the CDC and WHO recommend opening your windows to simply help with ventilation, but it also helps with anxiety. I love sitting right next to my opened windows and breathing in cool fresh air as the birds sing countless songs outside. I love looking out to see the clearest of blue skies above us. I love sticking my arm out to catch the raindrops that have been falling each day. Fresh air can make you feel a bit less like a prisoner in your own home, and it helps remind you to breathe.
I have always preferred soundtracks and instrumental music over modern day or pop music, and now more than ever I am relying on my favorite music to keep me calm. When I want to be transported away from here and to somewhere that keeps me grounded and free, I lay down and listen to Sigur Rós. When I close my eyes, I find myself spinning in the cold, falling snow amongst the majestic, towering mountains of Iceland with black volcanic rocks beneath my feet. Suddenly the tightness in my chest alleviates, and I feel a lot more free. Pick a composer or look for spa music on Apple Music or Spotify to find your zen and then allow yourself to be transported to a place that takes you away from your own anxiety.
A Soothing Bath
Whenever I begin to have an anxiety attack, my boyfriend likes to draw me a bath with my favorite bath oils. He’ll light candles too to help put me at ease and set up our big iPad with my favorite shows or music. During this time of heightened anxiety, I’m relying on baths more than ever. Even while I was in London, I took 3 baths in one day to combat my anxiety. Even if you don’t have any bath oils or bath salts on hand, pour your usual shower gel into the running water of the bath to create bubbles. Trust me, it makes all the difference.
A Blanket Fort
Okay so you’re probably thinking, “Really, Alyssa? A blanket fort? What are we, five?” Honestly, creating a blanket fort feels like my own little zen in my own living room. It oddly provides enhanced safety, despite being still within my own apartment’s walls. Bring in some fun board games, cards, books, tea or wine, your fur babies, and anything else you rely on to stay calm and watch your anxiety start to fade away little by little.
Scents are a HUGE factor in combating my anxiety. It’s one reason why I am a candle fanatic and I collect candles and reed diffusers often. But one way to fill your whole house with a natural scent is to do stovetop potpurri, which means collecting a bunch of natural ingredients in a pot on your own stove. One simple recipe that will make your home smell like spring is filling a pot with water and adding 2 sliced lemons, drops of vanilla extract, and a bunch of sprigs of rosemary and mint. Bring the mixture to a boil and then let simmer for however long you want the scent to fill your house.
Autonomous sensory meridian response, also known as ASMR, is one of my ultimate FAVORITE methods of achieving calm and relaxation. ASMR is a tingling sensation that begins at the top of your head and moves down the back of the neck and spine. Remember that relaxing game we would play when we were younger that goes, “There’s an egg on your head and the yolk is rushing down, the yolk is rushing down”, and you’d feel that relaxing tingling sensation all the way down your body? That’s ASMR. I thrive on finding ASMR videos on YouTube, with my favorite channel being ASMR Psychetruth. From whispering to different sounds to videos on relaxing scalp massages, I rely on them so much to achieve total and complete zen.
Hi Alyssa, I am going to try a couple of your ideas. Baths sound good, and the videos I’ll look into too.
Since this all started I lost my job, and have been single for 21 months. I was with my partner for 25 years. So life changed a lot, being alone has been the hardest. I have not tried dating. I was only thinking I wanted to meet someone when all this started and now my anxiety about being alone is worse. How will I meet someone now I can’t even go out? I have been learning about healing essential oils and have been upping my exercise to help. I thought I had asthma, turned out to be anxiety. I went through a divorce, and that didn’t happen. I guess the loss of the job and the Virus doing all it’s doing and changing was the tipping point.
Hey .. would you ever be keen on posting asmr videos yourself?
Thank you so much for this Alyssa. I’ve been following you on instagram for years but I forgot to read your blog posts for a long time so I have a lot to catch up !
This blog post helps a lot. I can’t self isolate and stay at home because I have to go to work (my job is not a working from home type of job) and it is quite stressful to go to work and take the train every day with the current situation.
On weekends I feel like I need to escape reality and music, asmr videos, lighting a candle, drinking tea and reading a good book is always my kind of paradise.