9 Ways PureWow Editors Stay Calm in the Face of Anxiety (That Don’t Involve Streaming a Yoga Class)

how to reduce coronavirus anxiety

Times are strange. One minute you’re cry-laughing at a cat video, and the next you’re pacing around your kitchen after hearing 0.35 seconds of MSNBC. So yeah, unless hunkering down with little to no human contact is your brand of Xanax, finding peace in this storm—one that doesn’t quite seem to have an end in sight—has probably been challenging. And we’re sorry. But we’re here with you. Here’s how nine PureWow editors are staying calm in the face of anxiety (ya know, besides wine).

1. Do the self-care you like, not the stuff everyone else is doing

“Something that has really been helping me is focusing on self-care practices that actually feel good to me—like taking a bath and reading. There’s a huge emphasis on specific self-care right now, like streaming yoga, meditation and exercise classes, and those are great, as long as you actually feel like doing them, not just because you feel like you should.” —Kara Cuzzone, associate editor

2. Plan your life 12 hours at a time

“I’ve started to retrain myself to plan only for the day that lies ahead. Compartmentalizing my life into 12-hour chunks makes all the worry for the future feel a bit less daunting. It may not be true, but I like thinking, OK, today? That I can control! It’s also a great retraining on living in the moment. Pre-COVID-19, I spent so much time strategizing my next move. The restriction to focus only on the present has made me breathe a bit deeper, inhale fresh air from an open window a bit longer and cherish moments with my family—as long as my 2-year-old isn’t melting down.” —Rachel Bowie, director of special projects 

3. Foster (or even adopt) an animal if you have the means

“When the city was starting to shut down, I saw an Instagram post asking for emergency fosters from an animal shelter. My nerves were all over the place, and I thought giving a little cat a home during this crazy time would not only help me but also help them. I went with my boyfriend and picked up Princess Swimtrunks (yes, that’s her real name) and immediately felt relief having her home with me. She seemed relieved, too, and immediately crawled onto my lap and purred. Whenever I’m feeling anxious or stressed about what’s going on, she somehow finds her way onto my lap, letting me know she’s here and it’s all going to be OK. This weekend my boyfriend and I officially adopted her, and we are so excited we’re going to be her forever family. I know adoption isn’t always possible, but being able to foster an animal during this crisis is an amazing thing that can give comfort to you and the animal.” —Amy Wolf, video producer

4. Get some real-deal vitamin D

“It really helps me to go outside, even for just five or ten minutes. Being indoors all day makes me anxious and uncomfortable, so going outside and taking a few deep breaths makes a big difference!” —Ariel Scott, editor

5. Limit your news and increase your ‘Sleep Stories’ consumption

“I have been trying (trying!) to limit my news exposure, because the more I refresh the page, the more panicky I feel. But you know what content does make me calm? Sleep Stories. Sure, there’s a whole app, but I honestly just listen to the same one on YouTube over and over because I never finish it because I always fall asleep.” —Katherine Gillen, food editor

6. Take a few drops of CBD

“How do I deal with anxiety? A few drops of CBD under the tongue before work and again before bed! Feals is my preferred brand, but literally any tincture will do in this (very anxious) case.” —Dena Silver, fashion director

7. Dance like no one’s watching

“Does dance cardio count as anti-anxiety medicine? I was honestly feeling pretty hopeless and lonely this past weekend, so I decided to do some living room workouts that were dancy—I used the Sculpt Society app—and it literally turned my mood around for the entire day and made me feel so positive and happy. I’m trying to start my day the same way every morning this week.” —Brianna Lapolla, senior commerce editor

8. Tell your brain what to think

“I have anticipatory anxiety, and if I give in to it, I’ll wind down the road of all the possible scenarios, and it becomes tricky to climb my way out of it. So instead, I’m telling myself that this is something that is completely out of my control (besides washing hands and social distancing) and that I just have to let it play out. It’s simple and easy, and it helps me stay calm.” —Rachel Gulmi, associate managing editor

9. Talk to someone

“App-based therapy, like Talkspace, was the lowest barrier to entry for me to connect with a therapist and get the support I needed after a dear friend passed away a few years ago. Given the state of the world now, and all the uncertainty, maintaining my therapy session has been more essential than ever to help manage my anxiety. I’m grateful for a platform that has allowed me to stay consistent and be connected without disruption—because talking to my therapist on a video call on Monday nights from my couch happens to be my usual routine. And if talking to someone is what you need right now, it could become your routine too.”—Lauren Gniazdowski, vice president of operations

Square Breathing Is Easy and Can Help You Stay Calm


Executive Editor, Frazzled Mom, Bravo-Holic

Dara Katz is PureWow's Executive Editor, focusing on relationships, sex, horoscopes, travel and pets. Dara joined PureWow in 2016 and now dresses so much better. A lifestyle...