It’s crazy to see how the world unfolds this situation and how we are reacting to the coronavirus global outbreak. There is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety does thrive on uncertainty. There has been false information spreading on social media which has not been verified and has led to fear, worry and scaremongering amongst us. People have been projecting their own fears on other people.
The World Health Organization has acknowledged that the crisis is generating stress, and has advised people to avoid watching, reading or listening to news that causes feelings of anxiety or distress.
In response to the pandemic, there has been an intense amount of panic buying. This has caused disorder to vulnerable people who cannot afford to do more than a weekly shop, people who enormously rely on food banks and more.
Over 90% of the food distributed by food banks in the Trussell Trust network in the UK is donated by the public. However, food banks are currently struggling and people that need it most are affected by this. During this time it’s important to look out for one another, be kind and give yourself grace. Check in on your vulnerable neighbours, your family members, friends and consider donating some spare items to your nearest food bank.
In moments like this, it’s a good time to take a walk, breathe and de-stress. Worrying does not change the situation!
“My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.”
― J.K. Rowling
If you find yourself constantly ruminating, catch those thoughts and stop it now! It’s important more than ever to be present in the moment, looking after our physical and mental wellbeing, being kind to yourself and others, and support each other where possible.
“When you are at peace, you are living in the present.”
Social media plays a big part of our lives. It helps us stay connected in many ways. But during this period of time you might find yourself spending more time scrolling through the gram or the TL, experiencing a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) and information overload which might be a bit too much for you right at about now! It’s important to be more conscious of how we’re using social media and the impacts on your emotional and physical wellbeing.
If you are currently experiencing anxiety, panic or stress, here are some practical tips for you:
1. Mute words and people who are spreading false or unhelpful information from your social media. You can normally do this with most social media platforms by going to your privacy settings.
- Muting words on Twitter
- Muting people on Twitter
- Muting words on your Facebook newsfeed
- Muting people on Instagram in 3 different ways
If this is not helping, unplug from social media, protect your mental space and focus on things you can control in your life.
2. Avoid watching the news or getting direct and instant notifications to your phone. If you do want to stay informed, check WHO and your local government bodies for health advice. It’s a very important time to be fact-checking with credible sources not just for others but for yourself.
3. Practice breathing exercises and techniques. Take long deep breaths and take time to inhale.
4. Move your focus on other things that you enjoy doing that brings you joy. Maybe it’s spending quality time with family, reading a book or working on that passion project you’ve been wanting to get started on but you’ve been putting it off for a while.
Being grounded allows us to come back to the present moment, which anxiety often pulls us out of. You can find some examples of grounding exercises you can try at home here.
6. Check some more resources on MIND for more information on how to manage stress and anxiety. If you are able to, seek a therapist. The NHS has advised trying talking about your feelings to a friend, family member, health professional or counselor. You could also contact Samaritans, call: 116 123 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you need someone to talk to.
7. Try to exercise and eat well. There’s lots of evidence that daily exercise can help promote feelings of well-being and help to boost your immunity.
Think about your diet. Eat more nutritious meals which include more vegetables, fruits, healthy proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs that will help promote healthy gut health, physical and mental health. Eating the right kind of foods, eating regularly and keeping your blood sugar stable can make a difference to your mood and energy levels. Ref: mind.org.uk
8. Prioritise sleeping well. This week marks sleep awareness week and we have seen from studies how much of an impact lack of sleep has on our health and wellbeing. Sleep can give you the energy to cope with difficult feelings and experiences.
“We can’t control the sea, but we can learn how to surf the waves.”
Wishing everyone that’s been affected by this pandemic a speedy recovery!
Please share with anyone going through anxiety during this time and comment below some more tips if you have any!