I wanted to write about the current situation regarding Covid:19 and anxiety a lot earlier but I had to put some work in on myself, its been tough. I had a huge dip a few weeks ago the seriousness of the situation hit me hard. Classic anxiety traits started to flare up again but I tackled them head on.
Whats working for me during ‘peak’ anxiety
- Goodbye caffeine – classic for me I ditch this straight away. Caffeine can not only worsen your anxiety but it can actually cause it.
- Routine – I wake up really early when I have peak anxiety then I sit and mull over thoughts for hours. So I get into a new routine once I am awake I meditate, grab a shower, breakfast then crack on with work or an audio book.
- Sleep – waking up is an issue as I said above but getting to sleep is a struggle as well so I normally put some sleepcasts on or audio-books
- Exercise – its so hard to get this going when I feel down but forcing yourself to move works, releases all that nervous energy
- DRINK WATER – its so important I know I know we hear it all the time but really it actually moves chemicals around our body so it can really help balance you out.
- Writing – crack out my journal and do 3 positives for the day and 3 positives for the next day (there is positives in everyday you can find them)
What I didn’t count on during this anxiety peak though was the uncontrollable nature of the situation we are in. Normally my anxiety is less about external sources and more inward. This unique situation threw up some new challenges for my anxiety. Lots of us are faced with a worry or a source of worry that we have no control over and no accurate time-frame on. So how to account for challenge? what extra things did I have to put in place to combat the worry.
The extra tools
- No news is good news – I ditched the news for 2 weeks no news at all, I had my fiancee give me the key details I needed. Important if you’re a deep diver like me, I drill down into more and more stories its unhealthy. I’m not putting my head in the sand here but I don’t need to know every detail of whats happening.
- Social media filtering – I filtered through my phone removed any social media I didn’t need including news apps. I then unsubscribed or un-followed anything I felt would be forcing me to read news that wasn’t relevant.
- Facts – stick to the facts. Headlines are written to sell, facts are written to tell.
- Shared human experience – this is talked about loads in anxiety especially in meditation. We are all in this together my worry is your worry, it might be on a different level but we have the same feeling, no one is alone in this remember that.
- See it as an opportunity – this something a counsellor used to say to me all the time. Just like the situation we are in good will come from this, new technologies will be developed new vaccines, better health care, more awareness. We can also get better personally, develop ourselves, learn new skills, work harder on relationships.
- Talking – social media, gaming etc all those forms of interactivity could be a blessing for us all. Stay connected talk to people re-engage with friends, do a virtual pub quiz it really does help.
In closing yes its worrying, hard, a struggle, but I/we/you have the tools to get through this. I really hope my experience can help others get through this really difficult time. My anxiety in this situation isn’t over. But like the fight out there against this virus I am winning the battle with it. Stay positive, persevere, be resilient and look after each other.