Over the past few weeks, our team of specialists at Psymplicity has been helping people manage their anxiety issues and are here to help you if you need us at all.
This is a unique situation we are all in, to say the least. Never before have we encountered a crisis of this magnitude. With self-isolation, lockdown, and quarantine becoming the order of the day, reverting to ‘normalcy’ seems like a hopeful dream.
While this has been a rather challenging time for most, for some the crisis has caused immense mental stress and anxiety. It does not help that a non-stop barrage of news and statistics of rising cases and increasing deaths are all around you, all the time. So if you are feeling stressed and losing your peace of mind right now, it is okay. As human beings, our minds are expected to have anxiety in reaction to such distressing situations.
However, it is important to understand that while a reasonable amount of concern is expected, continued stress and growing anxiety can affect your health. We have listed 5 effective steps that can help you cope with your anxiety:
1. Accept, process and prepare
As is any case of anxiety-inducing information or thoughts, it is important to accept them and process them. The more you try to fight the anxiety, the stronger and harder it will hit you. The positive aspect of being anxious is that it helps you remain aware of the dangers of the virus, be cautious and avoid risks to yourself and others, and prepare yourself if the virus does affect you or your family. Try to accept and process it, and move on, but do not get consumed by it.
An effective way to deal with this anxiety is to focus your attention on preparing for worst-case scenarios. In the event you or your family member is experiencing symptoms, refer to these detailed guidelines from NHS on what you need to do. Equip yourself with all the necessary information you need to manage terms of your employment or raise claims by referring to these detailed guidelines from HMRC.
2. Get a holistic perspective
It is very easy to get overwhelmed by the worrying statistics that we see in the news. But try to focus merely on fatality and death rates, but look for information on recovery rates to gain a holistic perspective. Always look for credible sources of information such as WHO that keeps updating holistic and accurate information in real-time.
Look for stories about survivors who have come out of this to share their experiences, positive stories about the generosity of strangers, and inspiring acts of kindness and selflessness. As much as you are bombarded with negative news, surround yourself with positive stories. BBC has a dedicated section on uplifting stories that are heart-warming and inspiring.
3. Distract yourself
Don’t get overwhelmed by work. Working from home can be tricky if there are no boundaries, so make sure you take time for yourself. Read a book, bake a cake, connect with an old friend, do something that takes your mind off the stress of work, and the negativity of the news.
If you are not sure of where to begin, refer to this fantastic list of 50 free ideas during the lockdown right from painting to writing a novel.
4. Stay healthy
Taking care of yourself is extremely important at this time. Staying indoors, without any physical activity can be challenging, so create a routine that includes dedicated time for exercise or relaxation. It can be tempting to turn to junk food, but while an occasional indulgence is perfectly fine, try and eat healthily.
There are a number of health and wellness experts sharing tips on exercise, clean eating recipes, meditation techniques, etc. Whether you prefer Yoga or pilates or cardio, you can find the right home workout ideas from fitness experts here.
5. Talk about your feelings
Despite taking initiatives to try and get over your anxiety, it is not always possible to just snap out of it. It is completely normal to be upset, feel helpless, or troubled. It will not get better unless you talk about it. Speak to your friends or family and talk about what worries you. If you are not comfortable sharing these thoughts, consider writing them down. Transferring your worries onto a piece of paper can relieve you of bottled-up stress.
There are also a number of helplines and support groups that are here to help you. You can find an NHS recommended list of support lines to reach out here.