Coping with Anxiety
It is fair to say that many of us will be experiencing feelings of intense anxiety that they have never had before.
However, for some, anxiety may have just ramped everything up a notch or made a reappearance after being pleasantly absent for some time. Into whichever category you fall, we hope that you will find the following suggestions useful.
We all know the rules: one form of outdoor exercise every day and only essential trips in addition to that. Some people may even refuse to leave their property because of the overriding feeling of potentially being struck with this horrid virus. If that description matches you, please do still try to find some sort of exercise that you can do.
If you are unfit, start gently. Walk up and down the stairs a few extra times during the day. Put the remote control next to the television so that you are forced to get up to change the channel. There are many apps to download which can help you to start a regime and at your own pace.
For those who exercise regularly in normal circumstances, find a class you like on YouTube and try to follow it from the comfort of your lounge. Beware of low-hanging lights though if you are swinging weights around. Instructors tend to be self-employed, so some are continuing to offer paid classes via Zoom, for example. Check out who is advertising on Facebook and sample a class here and there to discover the one that works for you from home.
Eat and Drink Properly
It may seem silly to suggest that eating and drinking properly is possible in times like these, but you need to make the effort to at least try. While fresh produce might be challenging to find, frozen and tinned vegetables still offer some goodness, so replace your usual with those. Pasta and rice might also be as rare as toilet roll is right now, but there are other ways of getting carbs into your diet. Couscous seems to still be on the shelves, in both standard packs and ready-flavoured packets. It can be a great accompaniment and is one of my favourites, COVID19 or not. Buying a huge sack of potatoes can last a long time and offer an enormous range of side dishes.
Some local butchers and greengrocers have come together around here to offer delivery on produce boxes combining everything you need for well-balanced meals. Investing in something like this will ensure you are not relying on phoning for a takeaway (there are still people out there offering this service) or frozen delights. Of course, treating yourself and using up what you have left is great, but do try to ensure that there is a balance. Stuffing your face solely with junk food will leave you feeling sluggish and can increase feelings of anxiety.
Ok, so we appreciate it is not as easy to see family and friends as it was, but that doesn’t mean you have to become a social recluse. We are lucky to be living in an age where technology has created many wonderful means by which to contact people. Whether you speak to loved ones via Skype, WhatsApp, Facetime or even current favourite app, HouseParty, doing so will make you feel far less disconnected with the outside world. Just a few minutes with positive people can be enormously beneficial. For those of us missing out on babies and young children growing up so quickly, this can be a super way to see what progress they are making. New teeth, first steps, first words and so on need not be completely neglected this way.
Therapy from a Distance
If your feelings of anxiety are strong, it may be worth seeking professional help. Although your usual appointment would undoubtedly take place face-to-face, this is not necessarily appropriate right now and so a telephone or skype consultation might be the answer. Supporting you to develop coping strategies and being a figurative listening ear or shoulder to cry on, these therapists are worth their weight in gold.
Seek GP Advice
We all know that the NHS is stretched right now, but if you really do feel that your anxiety could cause you or others serious harm, you ought to seek advice from your GP. Most are offering telephone appointments to discuss symptoms and possible solutions. If you have taken medication in the past for your mental health concerns, they may feel it appropriate to offer you a repeat prescription.