This year has brought us a whole range of experiences we never thought we would see. Working from home, curfews, restrictions. The unknown brings with it a whole range of emotions, one of those being anxiety.
Whether you have never experienced anxiety before, or your anxiety has gotten worse with the pandemic, this short blog will introduce some simple techniques you can implement in your life to minimise your experience of stress and anxiety during this time.
Mindfulness aims to deal with stress and anxiety by bringing your awareness to what is happening, and by acknowledging your feelings. The main premise of this technique is to be responsive rather than reactive. What this means is that you are not partaking in behaviour you do not mean, such as lashing out on a partner. Another important part of this technique is that focusing on the present moment ensures you are not worrying about “what if’s” that could take place in the future.
Right now, there is a lot of uncertainty. The reality is that we are all unsure of what tomorrow might hold; therefore, this shouldn’t be where your attention is. Instead focus on today, focus on your feelings and focus on the things you can control.
Rely on trustworthy sources.
During this time, it is easy to get caught up on what your mum’s, neighbour’s friend said about what’s going to happen next. However, this is not necessarily trustworthy information. It is important to stay updated, but do not let this take over your life. Checking the DHHS website about the current climate and restrictions is an easy way to be informed with out being mis-led.
Talk to your friends and family.
Right now, we need each other more than ever! Whether it’s a zoom call, a phone call, or a rule abiding socially distanced walk to the café, talk to your support system. We often ignore the fact that we are social beings and we need social interactions to function optimally. Try scheduling in this time every day to keep yourself accountable. Even if it’s just a 5-minute phone call, try to maintain some of that routine by talking to those you would usually see.
Do what makes you happy
Lastly, its important to do the things that bring you joy! Whether that is baking, walking, spending time with your family, playing with your pets, whatever it is, do it! If the things you love can’t be done at the moment, then be creative and make them happen in a COVID-safe way! Can’t eat out at your favourite restaurant? Re-create the restaurant at home! Dress up and enjoy a fancy dinner in the comfort of your own home.
Use this time to your advantage, maybe you finally have time to do that thing you’re always putting off, to learn a new skill, perhaps a new language! Or maybe you want to use this time to relax and take a break. Whatever feels right for you is totally fine! Listen to your body and your needs, and remember that if things are getting overwhelming, our psychology practice doors are always open.