Dealing with anxiety

It’s important to keep making sure that your own mental health and well-being are being maintained whether we are dealing with anxiety or not.

Anxiety should not be ignored.  Anyone is capable of feeling overwhelmed and we have a duty to care for ourselves as well as others.  It’s fine to stop for a moment and ask yourself “am I okay?”

Is it normal to feel anxious?

This is a very different and potentially stressful situation at present.  Whilst recognising that we’re entering a phase where all of us are having to live and work differently and adopt new behaviours, anxiety or worry is perfectly reasonable in abnormal situations.

This will become ‘the new normal’ for a period.  What we need to do as individuals, is recognise that by pacing ourselves as much as possible, we can be of more benefit to others and ourselves.

It is important to be patient with yourself, your family and the small number of Essential Workers that we still meet as we adapt and learn new ways of temporarily living.

Top five tips in dealing with anxiety:

Manage your media exposure

Reading and watching lots of news can sometimes increase anxiety and cause confusion.  Check reliable sources and keep up to date with relevant advice.  Limit the amount of time spent checking social media and try to avoid replying to personal views and opinions.  For up to date advice we recommend checking the gov.uk website for national updates.

Create your safe space

Have a safe space in your work and home environment.  Working from home can induce anxiety and stress as this is extremely new for most people and it can be difficult if families are also in the same environment.  Create a space or room within your house that you can go to and not be disturbed.  Equally if you are at work, find somewhere that can allow you some quiet time away from the factors making you feel anxious.  For those of you not working (parents, I know you have a full time job right now and I include you in this), try to apply the same principles – if only for a very short period – to allow yourself to have a moment to reset yourself.

Check-in

Remember to speak with family and friends and be open about how you feel – let them know you are dealing with anxiety. By speaking to others this will allow you to control how you are feeling and help to share ways in which you can cope with any feelings of anxiety. Try virtual chats as well as text and email. Face to face interaction (virtually) can be really useful to reduce anxiety rather than text alone.

Encourage and stay positive

We are all vulnerable in a situation like this and those people who are normally our rock to lean on, may well be feeling a little anxious too.  It is important to help each other by encouraging and reminding how good a job everyone is doing.  If you notice, any changes in the behaviour of those around you, do a little communicating to help support them and by return it’s likely they will do the same.  This could be your partner, your Pharmacist, your boss or your own child… we are all in this together.

Support

For people who have pre-existing mental health conditions, and even those who haven’t previously been affected by mental health, being in a situation like this might lead them to disclose a new mental health problem that won’t have been discussed before.  Remember to treat any disclosure with respect and understanding, as everyone will react different.

If you would like to talk to one of our professional counsellors, either via telephone, or video call, we are more than happy to help you at any time.