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I am hearing from, and reading about, more and more people who are experiencing increased levels of anxiety at the moment and, of course, this is hardly surprising given the times we are living in. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused huge uncertainty for many people with fears about health, worries about employment and finance, a feeling of lack of control or a sense of isolation leading to increased stress levels accompanied by a feeling of being powerless and anxious.
None of the above is a surprise and knowing that we are all in this together may help some people but not everyone. We are all different in how much uncertainty we are able to tolerate with some seemingly gliding through in a relaxed manner and others feeling close to breaking point.
So for those of you who are struggling here are some simple tips which you can put into practice easily and which will help you through the coming Winter period.
- FOCUS ON THE THINGS WHICH YOU CAN CONTROL
You may well be hearing this from multiple sources at the moment but it really does make a huge difference.
Start each day by noting down THREE things which you CAN DO today. This is know as “Setting your intentions” for the day.
They might be big and important things or they might be small and seemingly insignificant but they are things which you CAN DO.
- STAY CONNECTED
Keep in touch with work colleagues, family and friends. If you are self employed think about checking in with your clients and customers to find out how they are getting on and to help them to know that you care about them even when you might not actually be able to work with them.
Offer to help those who need it where you are able. This could be practical help for an elderly neighbour or being prepared to listen to a friend who needs some extra support.
There is a lot of evidence which shows that helping others helps you to feel better about yourself.
- DO THINGS WHICH YOU ENJOY
Instead of worrying about the things which you aren’t able to do for fun such as go on holiday, eat out and have parties find other ways to enjoy yourself.
If you’re stuck at home make sure that each day you plan to do a couple of nice things such as have a soak in the bath and light a scented candle, get out in the fresh air when you can or give yourself a home manicure.
Make sure that each day includes something for fun or relaxation rather than simply completing tasks.
- LOOK AFTER YOUR MIND AND BODY
Make sure to eat well, exercise, stick to a bedtime routine and get up and dressed at a normal time for you each morning.
Think about researching some simple meditation or breathing and relaxation techniques which will help to settle your mind and allow you to focus on the present rather than worrying about an uncertain future.
- PRACTICE GRATITIDE
At the end of each day look back at the intentions you wrote down in the morning. How did you get on? Did you do what you said you would do? How does this affect your feelings about your situation.
Then end the day with noting three things you are grateful for. Again, they might be big and important things or they might be tiny. It doesn’t matter, write them down as you practice gratitude and note how you feel when you do this.
If you are struggling in any way then seek help. I am always happy to have a no obligation chat and am a very good listener so feel free to get in touch.