Coping With Covid-19 Anxiety

29th Mar 2020
Covid-19 Anxiety

This virus situation is causing many of us anxiety and panic, especially feeling out of control when facing uncertainty, and worse for people who already suffer anxiety.

Take heart. Here are some ways to help you cope, feel calmer and less stressed, and boost your physical, mental and emotional resilience, so that your immune system keeps strong and protective during this challenging period. I hope they help.

Know that you are not alone. The whole world is with you, feeling the same fears that you are, and there are many people and organisations giving advice, support, and offering positivity and uplift. Search out that positive support.

Use your stay-at-home time to self-nurture and keep well. Also find a little spark of positivity in staying indoors. It can be a time for getting up to date with things, reading a good book, some clutter clearing, catching up with friends by phone or video, and doing some of those things you have been putting off through lack of time.

Keep in touch with family and colleagues who will give you support, not increase your stress. Try to talk about other topics rather than exchanging worries and fears.

Take a break from the news and social media. Keep up-to-date, but choose a specific time to tune in to trusted sources of news. Avoid speculation and assumption, and be selective about what you listen to. There is a lot of misinformation and scaremongering circulating.

Breathe. Increasing your oxygen levels lowers the impact of anxiety on your body. It helps your muscles relax and your mind-chatter calm down. A few times a day think 'breathe'. On the in-breath, say "I". On the out-breath say "Am", and drop your shoulders. Your whole body will relax, and saying "I Am" will help you to feel calm and centred.

Relax and Body Scan. Lie down. Work your mind through your body, starting with your scalp. Feel any tension there, and relax it. Work through every part of your body from your facial muscles, eyes, jaw, neck, down to your toes. Feel any tension in the different parts of your body, and relax them.

Mindfulness meditation involves focusing your attention on this very moment. This will take you out of your mind and your worries. Try and focus on an image of something pleasant, like a flower, or place a flower or candle in front of you and keep looking at it. In this state, you cannot think about the past or worry about the future. Simply relax.

Eat healthily and avoid junk food. Nutritious food and drink will keep your energy levels high and your bodily system nourished.

Don't overdo caffeine and alcohol. Reducing stimulants will help you to feel calmer and sleep better too.

Exercise. Even walking on the spot or moving your arms around will keep your body toned, and if you have stairs, walk up and down them to keep fit.

Support offered by Anxiety UK is helpful. Our courses provide constructive and soothing tools and techniques for coping, calming and reducing stress, plus improving health and well-being. And you will have 1-on-1 help and guidance along the way.  

We are all facing unexpected changes to our day-to-day lives, and it's more important than ever to boost our immune system, self-care and overall well-being. Please know that my thoughts are with you all." Brenda

Copyright © 2020 Brenda Martin 

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