Strategies to ease anxieties during a pandemic

By Racheal Chapman

Those who struggle with anxiety on a daily basis will have undoubtably found it tricky to handle the increased anxieties over the past 2 plus months. On top of what may already seem like a mountain of everyday worries; money, work, health, children, bills, relationships, add in things like; going to the supermarket, missing loved ones, reduced income, COVID-19 transmission, hand washing etc. and you can be guaranteed that you aren't alone in feeling totally overwhelmed. 

So what do we do with all of these spinning plates? 

1. Prioritise the important things.

If reduced income is the biggest issue right now, focus on that. Look to valid and trustworthy people / websites such as Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert for hints and tips. Talk to your bank. Talk to your partner or significant other. Make a spreadsheet, and make a budget. Planning and prioritising yields the best results. 

2. Share the load.

A vast amount of people are experiencing an array of emotions right now. Your sibling who is usually rock solid, might also be wavering. Your school friend who has a happy-go-lucky disposition may be feeling the weight of the word on their shoulders right now, and your neighbour who often organises all the jollies and keeps the street entertained might not know what's hit them recently. Check in on them. Share how you're feeling and it may just give them the courage to do the same. 

3. Do some research.

If transmission from food shopping to your home is one of your greatest worries, have a look at the current guidelines. Research how long COVID-19 is likely to stay on different surfaces, and then put a plan in place. This plan may involve wiping down all products once they enter your home, removing any possible outer packaging and discarding, or placing non-perishable items on top of your cupboards for a few days if the items are not required straight away. Try to tackle your worries by following trustworthy guidance and taking practical action.

4. Have some 'me time'.

It's vital to prioritise your wellbeing at the best of times. Decide what makes you happy, and what helps you to relax. Then do this, REGULARLY. Schedule in the time. That bath, that comedy box set, that phone-call with your bestie, that slice of cake. And don't just do it as a one-off. Weekly or twice weekly even. What's the use in making yourself feel good, just to go back to the humdrum of life for the next 6 weeks?! You and your wellbeing are important so make sure you regularly take time for yourself.

5. Take each day at a time.

Don't worry about next week. Of course if you have bills, occasions or events you need to arrange next week, be sensible and plan. But don't worry about the germs from next week's food shop or about what will happen over the summer holidays, or about heading back to work in 6 weeks. Take EACH day as it comes. Of course that's easier said than done, but if you can't change what is going to happen in 4 days / 1 week / 4 weeks, then worrying today will just rob you of any possible peace and joy.

You CAN do this.

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