The challenges which COVID-19 present are contributing to increased levels of anxiety and stress for many people.
It is normal that when we feel threatened, we can experience a range of thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations that might be uncomfortable. Accessing accurate information is essential to lower the amount of distress you may be feeling.
Tips to help manage anxiety and stress
There are also some evidence-based ways you can help yourself to feel better and lead an enriching life right now. Below are some ideas.
- Try to stay connected to people in whatever way you can
- Refer to reputable sources of information, and limit the amount of times you check for updates
- Be conscious of your exposure to social media and the negative impact it can have
- Keep routine in your day and add something enjoyable in where you can
- Practice some regular breathing exercises
- Enjoy some mindfulness activities such as using the CALM app, walking in nature or at the beach, or gazing at your baby or children and watching them play
- Listen to some favourite music or sing (singing activates the vagus nerve and can lessen anxiety)
- Keep active, doing whatever you enjoy (this reduces stress hormone build up)
- Try to eat a reasonably balanced diet most of the time
- Look at your bedtime rituals. Are they working for you? Can you limit screen time before bed, use low lighting, implement regular bedtimes, or just rest when you can
- Be conscious of your intake of caffeine after midday
- Continue your normal activities as much as possible
- Reduce unnecessary stresses in your life, and try to simplify things around you
- Do something for others, kindness is beneficial to yourself and the recipient
- Practice regular gratitude towards yourself and others
- Take some time out for self-care (this helps to builds resilience and feel good hormones)
- Talk to your children, partner, trusted friends and loved ones
- Reach out for help and supporto Contact a professional to discuss any emotional wellbeing issues if your feelings don’t settle with some of the above tips