Is anxiety a new experience for you during 2020? Completely normal, very uncomfortable and challenging, and with a few moments of your time, you can feel better.
It is completely understandable as so many things are uncertain, and uncertainty can create anxiety for us. Our mind likes things that are familiar to us. It looks for what it knows and responds. When it can’t find familiar, the mind can feel challenged, perhaps anxious.
So, you’re certainly not alone, but you are unique and likely experiencing this in your own way! According to the ONS’s recent survey’s* more than 25 million people – 49.6% rated their anxiety as “high”, more than double the amount at the end of 2019.
Why does it feel so bad? A short explanation may help.
Anxiety comes from the brain, the reptilian part, that is responsible for survival and it communicates with the middle part of the brain that is responsible for the emotions we feel. Uncertain time like these can create a feeling of threat of worry and cause us to feel anxious.
As the pandemic continues, we can help ourselves by focusing on what we can control and create as much certainty as possible. Routine and good coping techniques all help to do exactly that.
- I do have a routine, a flexible one 😉, sometimes I do things in different order. This routine ticks a few boxes for me; exercise, calming the mind, focus and achieving ‘spiritual growth’ So, the day starts with a lovely walk with my cocker spaniel, then yoga. He normally joins in! Then meditation for 10-40 minutes depending on the day and how I am feeling. I do get up earlier to do all of that. You can do whatever, just do something that you love and regularly. And when you miss a day, that is ok!
- I use a diary. I plan my day the night before to help focus on what needs to be done and the sense of purpose in getting up.
- Check in with someone, getting that social contact and update is great for both people and it’s lovely to be able to connect virtually.
- Eat well, doesn’t need to be complicated but it can also be fun, and you can learn too, if you want to that is! Mealtimes have been important, the three of us in the house, plus Spencer (my dog) of course all gather for lunch and tea.
- Find an outlet for releasing your emotions. What you focus on is what you get. Annoying phrase maybe. We are exercising the ‘worry’ muscle in the brain and it gets stronger. So, deal with the anxiety instead. Talk it out, journal, think positively or if it’s all too much – get some help.
I hope I have given you some ideas, but remember do what is right for you, and some days that is do nothing.
Ok, a little tool to help.
Sit somewhere safe, close your eyes
Think of the worst thing about the anxiety or situation you are in and now see it in a frozen frame or covered in tar. There is no movement or sound.
Now think about a time in the future where you can see you are through this and over it. See how calm, relaxed and focused you are, just as you wish to be. Stay there for a few moments, notice how you feel now.
Good, you can repeat that exercise too.
If you need 121 support, I help people with anxiety to feel calm relaxed and back to normal. I’d love to hear more about you and see if I can help you to. Book a free 15-minute consultation