Many people are seeking treatment for anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. If the unpredictable nature of our lives during this pandemic has left you feeling out of control, on edge, overwhelmed or swamped with worrying thoughts, you are not alone. Likewise, if you have long-standing symptoms of anxiety that have increased due to recent stress, this is very common at the moment.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
1.Stay in the present:
Our minds only have a limited capacity of attention at any given moment, so it helps to focus that attention on what is going on in the present, rather than getting caught up in what has happened in the past (rumination), or what could happen (worry). Both of these are out of our control so thinking about them can create anxiety and low mood. Introducing just 5-10 minutes of mindfulness to your daily routine could be a huge help right now to remind you about staying present.
2. Keep focused on what is in your control:
It is easy to get caught up in worrying about things that are out of our control. At Mindwell we have noticed a surge in people’s catastrophic thinking, when the future feels uncertain it is normal for our minds to try and come up with solutions or to problem-solve. Trouble is, what happens in relation to COVID-19 is not really in our control. It can help to focus on what is in your control. For example stay focused on doing the right thing to stop the spread of the disease, looking after people you care about, and maintaining connections to friends, albeit via social media or Zoom.
3. Get outside for exercise every day:
Being outdoors and getting some exercise are two things that can really boost your mood and put problems in perspective. Keep moving and get outside.
4. Maintain a routine:
Having a routine can be very grounding and containing. Now is a great time to develop a routine around meals, exercise, and relaxation. Our brains love predictability and when external forces are out of our control, we can create predictable routines in our day.
If your anxiety is getting out of hand or you want someone to talk to about it, please reach out and book an appointment at Mindwell. See our page on Psychotherapy Types for more details.