How to effectively manage your anxiety during the Coronavirus pandemic

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With news surrounding coronavirus and the guidelines from the Government changing on a daily basis, it’s enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed.  You may find yourself feeling more anxious than normal, stressed, helpless, confused or even angry. Everyone reacts and copes differently so where you may feel totally alone in the way you feel, others will be experiencing similar feels.  

In my blog ‘Everything you need to know about anxiety and ADHD’ I explain how the stress bucket that we hold onto fills up more quickly when you have ADHD.  This is caused by the 10,000 thoughts a minute we are churning through (you can read the full blog post here).  

It’s a worrying time for all.  Coronavirus is new and unknown.  Even the experts are struggling to understand how quickly and far it will spread or even when the pandemic will be over.  The uncertainty and constant news coverage surrounding COVID-19 causes fear.

But it’s so important to take care of yourself and your mental wellbeing during this time of uncertainty.  Here are 8 ways to effectively manage your anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Only refer to the reliable sources for information and updates

Unfortunately, there is a lot of fake and unreliable information on the internet surrounding coronavirus.  The media do use headlines that are meant to attract attention that aren’t always what they seem. Our brains are wired to prioritise information that represents danger, and so headlines are designed to trigger the danger response. 

It’s important not to get caught up in these headlines and fake stories or information.  Instead, head on over to the NHS website here, the .Gov website here and the World Health Organization here

Create a routine and stick to it

With many people now working from home, and some homeschooling their children, it’s a drastic change from our normal routines.  To relieve the anxiety of managing it all, the key is to create a structure for the day. It doesn’t need to be a minute by minute guide to the day but having a clearer picture of your expectations for the day will help to take the pressure off.  

Remember it’s also very important to carry on with normal routines too as much as you can.  Getting up, having a shower and getting dressed is very important for your mental wellbeing.  

Stay connected with people

You might not be able to go out and see your family and friends so it’s important now, more than ever, to carry on maintaining those relationships for yours and their mental wellbeing.  Whether you’re picking up the phone or sending them a message. Stay connected and checking in on people to see how they’re doing.  

Exercise

At the time of writing this, we are effectively on lockdown but have been given the opportunity to go out once a day for daily exercise.  Exercising is so important for our mental and physical wellbeing. When we exercise, we release endorphins. These act as a natural painkiller and are responsible for giving us that feel-good factor.  More than this, the physical feelings of anxiety and stress are happening as your body gears up to run away from danger, exercise allows us to “vent” this physical preparation.  Even just 5 minutes of physical activity can stimulate and reduce feelings of anxiety. 

While we can go out and get some fresh air, go out for a walk, a jog, a run or cycle.  Just remember to follow the guidelines. Ensure you’re practising social distancing of 2 metres and cross the road if you need to to keep a safe distance from people you’re passing.

There are also lots of small businesses that have moved their classes online with live and virtual recordings of their sessions.  It’s the perfect time to try out a few sessions, whilst relieving anxiety at the same time.

Eat healthily

It can be very easy to fall into bad habits and unhealthy patterns of behaviour.  But these can make you feel worse. So, remember to carry on eating a healthy and varied diet even during these difficult times. 

Check in with your feelings

Being concerned and anxious about what is going on is completely normal.  However, if you let it spiral out of control, it can start to affect your daily life.

Acknowledge the way you are feeling.  Maybe start keeping a log of what is triggering you to feel this way.  This will help you to challenge these feelings or find ways to shift your focus with things like mindfulness, breathing techniques or hypnotherapy.  You might also find my free hypnotherapy audio “Calmness and Clarity” useful, you can download this here.

Do something you enjoy

When we feel anxious or worried, we can sometimes withdraw ourselves from our daily activities, including the things we enjoy.  At a time when we can’t go about our daily lives as normal, it’s so important to make time for ourselves doing something we enjoy.  Whether it’s reading, going for a walk, practising yoga, meditation, a long hot bath, do something for you and something you enjoy.  

Remember to get enough sleep

Sleep is so important to our physical and mental wellbeing.  So, it is very important to keep up regular sleep hours and ensure you’re getting enough hours each night.  Whilst we’re sleeping, our bodies are working hard to heal and repair from the inside out. Our brains are processing and consolidating memories and thoughts.  Poor sleep can be linked to a weakened immune system and increase anxiety and depression. Why not download my free hypnotherapy audio “Calmness and Clarity” which triggers Theta waves. These are associated with deep, restful sleep.  Download it here.

If you want to get back in charge of your anxiety and find gentle but effective methods to reduce those anxious feelings, book in for an assessment consultation here or contact me to find out more.