Wednesday, April 21st, 2021
As the restrictions we have been living with for some time are beginning to ease, it seems a good idea to quickly refresh tips on managing anxiety….
- Anxiety is normal, especially at times of change and uncertainty or when we feel under threat. The pandemic has provided us with a steady stream of possible triggers and so be kind to yourself and accept that this is a normal reaction.
- Research in reliable sources things that concern you. Do not rely on chit chat or misleading social media & headlines. The big picture may seem overwhelming but as you begin to look into the facts you may find areas that you can have more control over and these can make all the difference.
- Connecting with others where possible will help avoid isolation and allow you to share your feelings. It is important that you set your own boundaries when connecting with others. If you wish to stay on Zoom, or in the garden, or wear a mask, or keep it short that is fine. Make a point of having some fun and lighter conversations to lift your spirits.
- Be aware of your physical health. We know our mental health can affect our body. Be aware of your heart and breathing rate, digestive issues or headaches for example. Getting some exercise such as walking, running or cycling can help. Breathing exercises, yoga, mindfulness and meditation can help lower blood pressure and heart rate.
- We may not feel we have any control over thoughts are streaming through our head but you can learn ways to manage them. Writing down thoughts can help organise them and allow your brain to ‘park’ them, think of it as an external hard drive where you can store thoughts instead of carrying them around. Once written down you may find you can look at them objectively and consider other thoughts that might balance out the concern.
- Alternatively if you find concentrating on thoughts difficult, plan activities that help distract you and have a list ready to refer to as soon as thoughts appear; numbers of people you can call for a chat, cooking, gardening, run, piece of music, dancing or a hobby.