Gap Inc.

March 27, 2020

It’s hard to put things in perspective when you’re dealing with, well, a global pandemic. And it’s only natural to feel stress and anxiety surrounding your own health and the health of your friends, family, and your community. We've listed a few simple tips below to hopefully make your day a little easier during this unpredictable time.  

Face your anxiety head-on, and figure out its root. When you’re feeling anxious, try writing down your concerns, getting as granular as possible. This exercise might help make what once felt overwhelming feel a little more clear, and give you a realistic set of concerns that you can address and ultimately, work towards finding a solution for. 

Find physical ways to calm your mind, like focusing on your breathing. Whether it’s in a quiet room or in the middle of what feels like a burst of panic, try counting your breaths — one slow inhale through the nose, one long exhale through the mouth, then repeat — relaxing into the process and being mindful of each one, gradually feeling your heart rate slow. 

Studies show that watching the news causes a spike in anxiety (even during the best of times). While it's important to stay up-to-date, consuming media all day isn't necessary (or healthy). Decide when you want to get the latest news — perhaps in the morning and again in the evening. Then, resist the urge to read articles and watch news throughout the rest of the day 

If you’re desperate for some background noise, or need a mental break, a calming playlist is a great option. Here are eight mellow songs you might want to add to yours, including this song, said to be one of the most relaxing of all time. 

Move your body, even if you’re feeling confined. Physical activity can greatly reduce anxiety, particularly strength straining. Build those physical and mental muscles and let off some steam while you’re at it. There are many companies out there offering free virtual fitness classes  

Download an app to calm yourself, and your family. Here’s a list of great options. 

Lastly, creating a ritual during your day that will give you something to look forward to. Create a standing Facetime date with a friend or family member, or start a drawing or puzzle you can add to little by little. How about a gratitude journal? Focusing on the good things will help calm your heart. 

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