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Managing anxiety and stress during this time

man with anxiety and stress looking out of the windowThere’s a lot going on in our world right now. If news and current events are causing you anxiety and stress, there are some things you can do to help manage these feelings.

STAY INFORMED BUT NOT ALARMED

You might like to keep up-to-date with news from around the world, however, tuning in to every single development can easily become overwhelming. To stay informed but not alarmed, try the following:

  • Get your information from reliable news sources – don’t rely on opinions on social media where people are venting and voicing their concerns. This can increase your own distress.
  • Focus on developments locally rather than globally. This helps you to be appropriately concerned rather than get caught up in anxiety.
  • Limit the amount you read or watch – set yourself a time to catch up on the latest headlines. Lunchtime might be best – first thing in the morning may spoil your mood for the rest of the day, and at night may affect your sleep. Don’t read every article or listen to every bulletin, just find out the latest and then switch off.

TAKE YOUR TIME

With Covid restrictions coming to end, you may feel a pressure to engage with everything straightaway. However, there’s no need to rush, and doing everything at once may leave you feeling overwhelmed.

Instead, ease yourself back in and plan out your activities so you only have a couple per week, leaving time to relax and recuperate between each ‘new’ experience. Whether that be scheduling the first time that you commute back into work or meeting up with friends. That way, it will feel less overwhelming as you adjust to new experiences.

PLANNING CAN BE HELPFUL

If you’re nervous about catching public transport or meeting up with friends, planning can help you feel more in control. Try and travel during off-peak hours or plan a quieter route and plan out how long it would take. You could also write a list of things that you would need to take with you on your trip, such as, a mask, hand sanitiser and your wallet.

While things may seem uncontrollable during this time, it’s important to remember that there are things that you can control.

DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE

Take things one moment at a time and remember to breathe. It may sound simple but when we experience anxiety and stress, our breathing gets faster and shallower. When you feel yourself getting worked up, breathe slowly and deeply into your belly to override your stress response so that you feel calmer.

Meditating before leaving the house can help you relax and find a sense of calm. There are lots of apps available to download that can help with mindfulness, meditation and relaxation.

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK AND BE KIND

It’s important to be kind to yourself. Remind yourself that we’re currently living in extraordinary times and it’s completely understandable if you’re feeling overwhelmed by certain things.

By practising self-kindness and compassion, it may help you to become more accepting as things return to normal. It is also a great way to improve your emotional wellbeing.

Talk to other people

Many people are probably feeling the same way as you, so talk to a friend, family member or colleague about how you’re feeling. Sharing your experience can help reduce the worry.

NEED EXTRA SUPPORT?

We’re here to help. Our services can support you if you’re struggling with your mental health.

  • Talking Therapies (IAPT) – Short-term support for when you experience difficult emotions, such as, low mood, worry and stress.
  • Peer Support – Wellbeing workshops, one-to-one peer support, peer support groups, social activities and peer support training with other people who have had similar experiences to you.
  • Employment – Advice and support to gain and retain paid employment, improve your employability skills and know your rights in the workplace.
  • Navigators – Practical support with a range of issues including benefits, debt, housing options, access to health and social care services and support to access specialist advice and information.
  • Self-Care – Support and activities that help you to take care of your own mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.

You can refer yourself to Community Living Well here, call us on 020 3317 4200 or speak to your GP.

If you need urgent help with a mental health crisis, talk to the Samaritans on 116 123.

 

Author: Stewart Gillespie
Posted on: 24th February 2022

SMART St Mary Abbots Rehabilitation and Training