It is understandable to be experiencing anxiety around the whole covid 19 situation. There are so many ’what ifs’ and that is where anxiety likes to feed. It gets into all of those questions we do not have the answers to and fills our head with all the worst-case scenarios that our imaginations can come up with. This coupled with too much time at home feeling we have nothing to do creates a breeding ground for fear, panic and worry. Just because anxiety has set in does not mean we cannot regain control. 

  • Exercise is a great way to reduce and manage anxiety as it burns off excess energy, focuses our mind, reduces our production of cortisol (stress hormone) while increasing our production of endorphins and serotonin.
  • Caffeine fuels our anxieties, reduce or cut out caffeine when you feel anxieties rising. If you drink coffee or energy drinks try reducing the amount you drink in a day, or switch to tea. Reducing to quit is a good way of limiting caffeine without having to deal with withdrawals.
  • Reduce time spent on social media – although social media is a great way to stay connected it is too easy to spend hours scrolling through news stories, rumours and people’s opinions about what is happening in the world at the moment.
  • Reduce alcohol and recreational drug use. When we are low is when we lean into our unhealthy habits, while a few drinks with loved ones may help us feel more at ease it can also increase anxiety. It is more difficult to stay in control of our emotions while under the influence of drugs and alcohol and even more so when we are hungover.
  • Ask for support when you need it. Reach out to a loved one and tell them how you are feeling. When we supress our feelings they begin to fester and can become unmanageable, acknowledging that you are not feeling 100 percent at the moment helps the feelings to pass more quickly. 
  • Know when to seek professional support. Although many support services are not operating face to face services many of them are offering video sessions and phone calls. All emergency helplines are operating as normal, so make use of them if you need to.
  • If you feel your feelings are getting too big to manage or you are experiencing feelings of hopelessness, depression or suicidal ideation please reach out, you are not alone in this. 
  • Create healthy boundaries around media consumption and covid 19 updates. Keep up to date on what is happening in the world through reliable sources and limit the amount of times you allow yourself to check it throughout the day. Healthy boundaries may sound like:
    • I love it when our kids play together but we are practicing social distancing and are keeping out kids home at the moment. Please ask your children not to call to our door or to invite our kids out to play.
    • Please do not send me links to coronavirus articles and updates as I am limiting my media exposure. Thank you
    • I miss you too, I would love it if we could have a video chat to catch up as I am practicing social distancing.
    • Do you mind if we talk about something else? I am trying not to think about the coronavirus right now. 
    • Thank you for having my best interest at heart and for wanting to keep me up to date with what may be happening. I am managing my anxiety by limiting my updates to reliable information from the government, please do not forward me any rumours you may have heard.