Much of the advice therapists usually offer to people suffering from anxiety doesn’t work anymore. In normal times, I would tell you to go to the beach and watch the waves. Or catch up with your best friend over a glass of wine. Or hit up a yoga class. But these aren’t normal times. Because of the coronavirus, we must stay home to stay safe and help our communities’ hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. What’s good for us physically, and for our society as a whole, though, is harmful to our mental health. We need to come up with new ideas to deal with stress while COVID-19 is in our lives. Here are four fun and easily doable ways to combat anxiety during a pandemic.

1.   Do social-distancing versions of traditional anxiety-busting activities.

You can’t go to a yoga class, but you can take a class online or meditation app. And you won’t get any two-for-one happy hour deals, but you can still get together with your friends on Friday nights via video chat. There are many chat apps out there, so you’re bound to find one that works for you. To make it feel as non-pandemic as possible, plan it as if you’re getting together at one of your favorite local haunts and prepare in advance. Are you meeting at a cute café? Make yourself a latté and a cupcake. Beer garden? Add some bratwurst and beer to your next Instacart order.

2.   Watch live performances from your couch.

Have you ever wanted to see Pink Floyd in concert or to go to the Metropolitan Opera? Many musicians and theater companies are offering free or low-cost video streaming of past performances. Some are available to watch whenever you want, while others are available only for a limited time, but the number of options is seemingly endless. Whether you prefer classical or pop music, Shakespeare plays or hit musicals, if you’ve got a television or a laptop, you can turn your home into a temporary Royal Albert Hall.

 

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