The ATA is here for you during this unprecedented public-health crisis, which calls on each of us to take precautions to limit the spread of the coronavirus. To ensure the safety of our staff, we are operating remotely, but you can still contact us by telephone at 1-800-634-8978 or email at tinnitus @ ata.org.
We also understand that with constant updates on COVID-19 and its possible ramifications on our health, livelihood, and our loved ones, you might be feeling anxious. To manage stress, which might cause your tinnitus to spike or become more intrusive, we hope you’ll commit to a daily self-care plan that draws on some of the suggestions listed below,
Tips for Managing Stress
- Curate a soothing soundscape, using such tools as apps or music streaming services that can be tailored to your preferences, table-top sound generators, and pillows with speakers. Click here to find sound and sleep apps.
- To limit isolation, FaceTime with friends/family, or call a volunteer on the ATA’s Peer Support Network if you want to speak with someone who understands the challenges of living with tinnitus.
- Exercise to increase circulation and deep breathing. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America’s website, a 10-minute walk can improve mood and deliver several hours of relief. If that is too much, begin with a 5-minute walk and gradually increase the duration. (If you are new to exercising, please consult your physician before starting an exercise program.)
- Meditation focuses awareness to help the mind and body relax. Utilizing apps, you can begin with short guided meditations that will bring awareness to breathing, thinking, and calming the mind. Click here to find meditation apps to help relax and sleep apps.
- Ten Percent Happier, one of the ATA’s featured meditation apps, is streaming free daily 5-minute meditations (beginning March 16 at 3 pm) with some of the world’s best meditation teachers to help reduce the stress caused by the current public health crisis. Click here to view.
- Learn how to master relaxing breathing (or 4-7-8 breathing exercise). (A video demonstration can be seen on Dr. Andrew Weil’s website.) This is a tool that takes time to cultivate so begin practicing today.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, then seal your lips.
- Inhale through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale through your mouth to a count of eight.
- Inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times.
- Write in a journal to purge your mind of worries. Before you write, take a few minutes to breathe deeply and monitor how you feel. Begin with, “Right now, I am…” Then finish with, “I want to be…”
- Repeat a positive mantra – such as “I am safe”, “I am well”, “I am strong” – while breathing deeply.
- Limit time on the internet, particularly in the evening.