Reducing Anxiety and Feelings of Isolation During COVID-19


With orders from Governors instructing us to stay in our homes to ensure our safety and the safety of those around us, it’s easy to feel cooped up and even develop some anxiety about COVID-19 (coronavirus).  There are cases of all over the country, and unfortunately New York has been hit particularly hard. Especially for those of you that can’t leave home, you may feel very isolated. During this time, it may also feel easy to slip into unhealthy habits.  Here, we’ll remind you of ways that you can focus your energy on developing habits to keep your anxiety in check, and keep your body ready for anything. 

Develop a Routine or Schedule

One of the most important ways to alleviate anxiety is to make a plan. This can be as basic or detailed as you need it to be. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to organize your blocks of time in no smaller increments than 30 minutes. In terms of routine, waking up and going to sleep at the same time is crucial for managing anxiety about COVID-19 and for boosting your immune system. Writing out a schedule for the day will help you avoid falling into a binge watching black hole or wasting time in general. Furthermore, it’ll help you hold yourself accountable and stick to additional healthy habits. 

Limit Your News Intake

It’s important to try to keep your anxiety in check by limiting the amount of stressful information you ingest every day. Build check-ins into your schedule and try to keep it to a total of 30-60 minutes of TV news or reading articles for the day. Keeping yourself informed with reliable and trustworthy sources is important because it reminds you of the facts. However, it’s easy to become consumed with information. So if you set some limits on this, you’ll notice that you can probably have a more positive and fulfilling day.

Take Reasonable Steps to Reduce Risk

Knowing that you are doing something to protect yourself can help mitigate your anxiety about COVID-19 in addition to decreasing your risk. Good hygiene is the easiest step you can take. This includes throwing tissues away immediately after blowing your nose, coughing into your elbow, and washing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces is also important.  Also helpful are social distancing (avoiding others by at least 6 feet) and avoiding crowds in general.

Healthy Eating

The nutrients we put in our bodies are responsible for so much more than we give them credit for. Getting extra doses of fruits and vegetables in your diet helps your body get the vitamins and minerals it needs to keep your immune system up. Additionally, certain vitamins including B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin D are all important in helping balance mood and anxiety. And minerals including magnesium, iron, selenium, and zinc do the same. These essential nutrients allow our bodies to run like well oiled machines and will help fend off bad moods and bad germs alike. As you’ve probably noticed cooking has become more popular. It might be an important tool in managing  anxiety about COIVD-19. Knowing that you can prepare food and care for yourself can help you feel in better control.


Is right now the time for you to get in the best shape of your life? No. But, 30 minutes of exercise at least 4 times a week is a good goal. This is so important for your sanity and your immune system. Mood boosting endorphins aren’t a bad plus either. Additionally, increasing your heart rate during exercise can help the body produce more norepinephrine to help you think more clearly during stressful situations. There are many options available for exercise apps, and videos available on streaming devices. Working out at home can provide you with a variety of choices of exercises that you can do at your convenience, and many don’t even require additional equipment.  If you want to maximize the return on your investment in decreasing anxiety about COVID-19, you can incorporate yoga which integrates movement, breathing, and meditation. 


Humans are social by nature and, in fact, there is a Zulu word for this: ubuntu. It means, “a person is a person through other people”. We need each other – to do for each other and have done for us; both to be listened to and to hear others. You had friends and family before all this began and, thanks to how advanced our technology is, you’ll be just as close with them, if not closer, when this is all over. Call and text with people, and video chat with someone if you need some actual face to face time. Sharing your feelings and anxieties with others can be cathartic. Keeping in touch will help you feel less isolated. And friends that you’re talking to, will probably share similar feelings, which is important for us each to know that we’re understood.

Bedtime Habits

Sleep is vital to allow your system to recharge, and recover physically and emotionally. And let’s be honest, if there is a time to aim for 8 hours of sleep, this is it! There are several well established sleep hygiene techniques that are generally useful. These are just a few:

  1. Prepare for bed about 45 minutes before you’d like to be asleep
  2. Get in bed around 30 minutes before you’d like to be asleep with no screens allowed. No TV*, no phone, no tablet)
  3. Read a book or listen to an audio book or a podcast to slow down your mind. Be ready to turn off the lights
  4. If you’re not nodding off by now, try listening to a meditation app with the lights off

*If you can’t fall asleep without the TV because it helps distract you into falling asleep, set a sleep timer! The light and noise from the TV after you’ve fallen asleep, are detrimental to the quality of your sleep. 

Consider Professional Help

We’re all well aware of the current guidelines advising us to stay home at much as possible. But if you’re having difficulty keeping your anxiety about COVID-19 under control, you might want to consider professional help. One way you may note your anxiety to be uncontrolled, is if you notice that your worried thoughts keep you from accomplishing daily tasks. There are many mental health services available through telemedicine or telepsychiatry. Just because you have to stay at home, doesn’t mean you have to be without the services you need. At Talkiatry, we can provide you with therapy services and medication management remotely. So no matter where you are or what your situation, we can reach you. Meet our team of providers here.

About Talkiatry

Talkiatry is a local, accessible and complete mental healthcare solution that accepts insurance. We close the gap for individuals who want to get better, but feel that mental health care has been challenging to navigate up until this point and want a more convenient way to take the first step. Talkiatry takes the traditional local mental health visit and combines it with technology, scale, efficiency, and design to provide the best possible environment for healing.

The Talkiatry branded mental health practice is independently owned and operated by a licensed Psychiatrist. For more information about the relationship between Talkiatry Management Services, LLC and the branded group practice please click here.

Content from the Talkiatry website and blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The intent of the information provided on this website is for general consumer understanding and entertainment only.


Related Posts

PTSD and Reactions to Trauma

PTSD and Reactions to Trauma

April 1, 2020

Education, Support
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 50% of us will experience trauma in our lifetime. We may develop different reactions to trauma including feeling nervous or shaky or having repetitive, racing thoughts. But Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) occurs when the brain cannot effectively manage our anxious thoughts and […]
I’ve Been Given A Mental Health Diagnosis, Now What?

I’ve Been Given A Mental Health Diagnosis, Now What?

April 1, 2020

When people enter mental health treatment, they have all sorts of different expectations about their diagnosis. Some people benefit from just knowing that what they’re experiencing has a name, while others may benefit from the treatment they receive without ever thinking about their diagnosis. There is also a chance that some people may experience some […]
Barriers to Mental Health Treatment: Addressing Concerns

Barriers to Mental Health Treatment: Addressing Concerns

March 19, 2020

Insights, Support
At Talkiatry, we provide mental health treatment because we believe that it is a vital aspect of overall health. However, we understand that many people may experience barriers to mental health treatment or have misconceptions about it. Providers have heard a few different concerns and questions from patients or their families about why they may […]

Interested in pursuing psychiatric care at Talkiatry?

Take our free and easy assessment to receive a preliminary diagnosis that will give you a better understanding of your current symptoms and the type of treatment you may need.

Take the Assessment