As someone that has suffered with extreme anxiety in the past I am aware of how the uncertainty in the world maybe affecting you. I have to admit that I am finding this new way of life a little bit difficult to get my head around, the craziness in the supermarkets, the constant news headlines and the heightened concern from my clients. Anxiety is all around us.
We know that coronavirus and its impacts are causing stress and worry for most of the population. Many people are being asked to stay at home and avoid others, which might feel difficult or stressful and there is a concern around feeling lonely too. But there are lots of things that we can do to help ourselves throughout this uncertain time:
Be careful where you get your news from. It is important to stay well informed with updates but be careful to use reputable sources. Please don’t rely on hear-say as information can be misunderstood. Use the NHS, BBC or other major news outlet, these are being constantly updated.
Have a break from social media. This is great for staying in touch with people but it can also make you anxious with the constant flow of information and ‘mis-information’. Just be mindful of what you are looking at and limit your time on it. It is easy to loose hours scrolling through stuff!
Get outside. With spring (hopefully) just around the corner spending time outside in the fresh air will do you the world of good. If you have to stay inside and self-isolate try and get the windows open and sit in the direct sunlight, its good for your health and wellbeing.
Try to manage a routine. It is difficult to change the habits we already have, but now a lot of us don’t have any choice due to government guidelines. Try and form a new routine as much as possible, for instance if you have to work from home make sure you try to start work at the normal time and take regular breaks or your days will start to merge into one.
Do things that make you happy – self-care: I always find that watching a box-set will make me feel better and help’s me to relax when I am feeling anxious. There are so many other things you could do: read a book or message your support network, or even try something new! It’s just about doing something to take your mind off what is troubling you.
Plan ahead without panicking: Find the right place to stay if you have to isolate, if you are worried about being on your own ask if you can stay with someone. Try not to get sucked in to the panic buying, the shops will stay open and most home deliver, or ask a friend or neighbour to help. Try to eat well and stay hydrated.
This situation will end and things will get back to a new normal. Maybe this could be a time when we can reprioritise and focus on what is important in our lives. We could slow down, take a step back and enjoy the things that matter and make us happy. If you are struggling please ask for help and keep talking to those close to you too. Look after yourself. x
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) has more information on how to cope if you’re feeling anxious about coronavirus.