So here we are, 5 weeks into lockdown (in the UK).
With no real indication as to when the restrictions will let up, the focus on mental health is real.
In these uncertain times, it’s natural to feel anxious about what is happening. We are in the midst of a pandemic after all so if there was ever a justified time to feel tested, it is now!
But what happens when those feelings want to take over?
What is the best way to try and keep anxiety in check?
Understanding the way your anxiety is set up and knowing your triggers can prevent your anxiety intensifying or better still, halt a full-on anxiety attack.
Be careful with the news
So, first of all, the news…
The news is a blessing and curse at the best of times and I think now is a great time to review how much you are actually taking in.
The mind is powerful so even if you are not watching the news all the time, simply having it on in the background whilst you do other things, still leaves you open to its contents.
Subconsciously, you are absorbing it all, so, cut some of it out!
Whilst it is important to remain informed and up to date with what is happening outside of our homes, too much information will not do you any favours. It could just be adding to your anxieties and making you more fearful.
Also, it is important to limit the sources of your information. Stick with reputable news outlets and stay away from online material that perpetuates a specific narrative without giving a balanced view.
If you do feel overwhelmed by what see, step away!
Switch off and give yourself a break.
Speak to someone you trust and whose opinion you value.
Share your thoughts and concerns with them…talk it out until you feel better about it.
Remind yourself of things you can control
Secondly, whilst this whole Coronavirus outbreak is something, we have no control over on a global scale, we can look to the things we do have a say in to ease our anxieties.
For example, knowing we can minimise our personal risk of infection by following the Government guidelines which include; staying at home and avoiding none essential travel and washing our hands frequently, is reassuring and easy for us all to do.
Keep in touch
Thirdly, stay in touch with your friends and family safely.
Humans are social beings meaning we thrive around others.
Being isolated can increase feelings of not only anxiety, but loneliness and depression too.
Maintain contact with those important to you at least.
Phone calls, WhatsApp messages, voice notes…whatever suits. Just try to ensure you don’t disconnect from everything and everyone entirely.
Social media is also a great way of feeling connected however, do try and stay away from pages and groups that may make you feel as if your life is inadequate.
Do not hesitate to mute, unfollow or block anyone or anything that exacerbates any negative feelings in your life.
And when you are connecting with others, try to talk about other stuff outside of Coronavirus too – it will be refreshing and definitely, welcomed!
Finally, allow yourself space to feel anxious if you need to but do remind yourself, like with most things, this will pass.
Stay safe and stay well…x