Coronavirus: Run (Anxiety) Away
I can’t imagine there’s anyone who doesn’t feel extra- anxious right now. If you’re feeling chill and happy and relaxed, then by all means, skip this post.
For everyone else experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s pretty normal to feel stressed. But these natural negative emotions can easily get out of control, become counterproductive, even harmful.
Limiting news exposure and social media browsing to specific, short time periods is a critical first step, that’s for sure. But physical activity of any kind can seriously help, and there is a lot of science to support this. This Harvard Health Blog article briefly explains some of the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and neurochemical reasons why. Studies show that exercise helps lower stress levels in the moment. Many many studies have shown that people who are more active have a lower tendency towards anxiety.
And all of this is the lead-up to what I really want to post about: The best Saturday morning run around my town! Yes, just like every working parent with school-age kids at home all day, Hubby and I are losing our shit on a regular basis. He’s doing sports podcasts from home, but he’s not sure he’ll have a football season to call (or a job) come fall. I’m reading everything I can about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, working in a new clinical role, plus preparing to be pulled for inpatient shifts. There’s more, of course. Like everyone else, there’s a million things going on for us. Our heads are spinning.
But then there’s a quiet Saturday morning after a 24-hour rainstorm, and a solo run to calm the soul:
There are other options besides exercise, of course. There are many excellent, free resources on coping with stress and anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic, like the Harvard Health Blog’s posts on coping with coronavirus anxiety here and here. This article by NPR is also short, sweet, and offers solid advice. But exercise is free, easy, and definitely works! I’d love to hear what activity calms your soul. How are you managing your stress during the coronavirus pandemic?