The world in quarantine, all the governments asking us to slow down and stay at home... That's where the whirlwind of thought and uncertainty comes in, isn't it? Although it is normal to feel more anxious during this period of social distancing, being constantly distressed is not healthy either.
And that's because detachment from other people can generate a certain emptiness in ourselves. "Even being with our family in our homes, we feel powerless over the problem we are facing,".
This feeling is anguish. And it tends to get worse as we don't find immediate solutions to relieve it. Then we begin to live in constant anxiety. But then, what can we do to avoid that feeling at such a delicate moment? It's worth adopting some habits:
Filter the news
Everyone knows that having information is good and necessary. But in exaggeration, this can increase collective panic. "Too much information about COVID-19 has taken a lot of people's sleep since the pandemic definitively set in. The news, which is not always true, ends up creating a sense of fear among people who don't properly filter what they receive and end up mixing what's true with what's false", says the expert.
So, before you go out there consuming everything you see ahead, analyze: choose news coming from serious vehicles. And think twice before replicating a message in Whatsapp. You never know if the other will be prepared to receive it.
Focus on your hobbies
Enjoy the moment and focus on the things you have always liked to do: play with your children, talk more with those you love, take care of yourself... The expert explains that it is very important to reserve a space of the day to disconnect and forget everything that is happening.
"Don't give yourself time for negative thoughts that trigger anguish. Improve family interaction and do things that you love even with limitation. Introduce something in your routine that brings distraction," she suggests.
You have to face facts: sex decreases anxiety and can be a good way to relieve tensions. Nor are we saying no: a study carried out earlier this year by Paisley University in Scotland found that volunteers having sex responded better to stressful situations.
This is because during excitement, substances are released that can lower blood cortisol levels - the hormone related to stressful situations. Not to mention that being together can increase the concentration of oxytocin in the body, leaving us more calm and relaxed.
A study conducted in 2014 at Johns Hopkins University, United States, found that meditating for 30 minutes every day helps relieve symptoms of anxiety, depression and even chronic pain. The conclusion was published in the renowned Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and was obtained after scientists reviewed 47 previous clinical studies on meditation involving a total of 3,515 participants.
If you do not know where to start, the mindfulness technique can be of great help. It is nothing more than concentrating to the fullest on the present, feelings and senses, and can be done in various situations of the day - during a meal, when breathing deeply a few times, or even in the bath! Reserve 15 to 20 minutes initially to do this. And see how to meditate here.
Don't give up good food
Does the meme "I already ate all my quarantine snacks" talk a lot about you in that quarantine?
It's not uncommon for us to use food as an escape and reward to deal with anxiety and stress. "In the central nervous system there are neurotransmitters that act as chemical messengers to control hormone production. An imbalance between serotonin and dopamine (hormones responsible for pleasure and relaxation) leads people to resort to the pleasure available in food as compensation," says a nutritionist.
To avoid throwing all the anxiety on the plate, it is worth doing the opposite and using it as a great ally to fight tension:
- "This is not the time for very restrictive diets, especially in carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates help produce serotonin, which controls anxiety. Include grains like rice, beans, lentils, and fruits like bananas and roots in meals;
- "Since much of the serotonin is synthesized in the intestine, it is essential to keep the intestinal flora healthy. Therefore, bet on probiotics to treat anxiety. Include natural yogurt and fermented, such as kombucha, in everyday life";
- "Good fibers and fats are also indispensable for the proper functioning of the body and mind. Ingira oat bran, oilseeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, avocado, chocolate 70% cocoa, red fruits, green leaves and eggs. They guarantee the maintenance of all the necessary nutrients for hormonal production, such as magnesium, B complex, vitamin D, zinc and omega 3";
- "Make small snacks between meals can ease anxiety and avoid excessive eating at main meals".
See also: 10 Foods That Help Reduce Anxiety
Physical activity has long been recommended by leading health agencies as an excellent option for combating mental illnesses such as depression. "Theoretically, any type of activity releases endorphins and serotonins, which act on the brain and improve anxiety, increasing feelings of pleasure and well-being. But it's clear that if you focus on something you enjoy doing, you'll further enhance this effect and avoid the feeling of obligation," explains cardiologist Renata Castro, a specialist in sports medicine.
Then choose a space to move your body. We even have training tips and gyms here that offer free options to do at home in your 40s.
There's no need to overdo it, okay? "Exercise is great for maintaining our immune system. However, at high intensity, without the necessary rest and with poor nutrition, the effect is the opposite," explains the expert. According to her, if you're not used to exercising, 40 minutes to an hour a day of something light (like a dance) is already a good size.
"The good thing is that we can use the things we have at home to enhance training. Books, bags with things inside, bags of rice and beans and bottles of water are good substitutes for weights". Don't forget the pre-training preparation. "Stretching is important because it improves mobility, reduces pain and reduces the risk of falls for older people. Warming up, on the other hand, prepares muscles and joints for the activity that will follow, avoiding injury," she concludes.