According to MIND Charity, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem in any given week — with anxiety being one of the most common conditions faced.
So what does anxiety really feel like? How does it impact on daily life? And, with coronavirus currently dominating world news, how do we cope at a time of extreme uncertainty?
Well, to explore anxiety and its affects a little more, we’ve teamed up with our very own Wellbeing Manager, Kerry B. Mitchell, who shares her top 4 ways to manage, and hopefully reduce, the anxiousness people might be experiencing during the current health crisis.
Let’s take a read! 🙌
“Most people have never experienced a global health pandemic like we’re all facing around the world right now. Each and every one of us will be dealing with the situation differently and figuring out how to navigate our way through a very alternative way of life that involves little or no physical social contact with loved ones or work colleagues.
It’s well known that mental health conditions can affect absolutely anyone, regardless of age, background, lifestyle, habits, experiences, or work. With the additional concern of COVID-19, many people will be experiencing anxiousness and worry — whether or not you’ve experienced a mental health condition in the past.
I’ve worked with many people who live with, and have been indirectly impacted by anxiety, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share some helpful ways to mitigate the effects of it on our daily lives:
- Eat Well & Stay Hydrated | Changes in our routine can impact our nutritional habits, and we’re all certainly experiencing big changes in our way of life right now. Making sure the body is well fuelled and hydrated is hugely important — it impacts on various aspects of our wellbeing, from our sleep and focus, to our motivation and ability to deal with emotions. Eating a balanced and varied diet prevents the highs and lows of blood sugar too, which is shown to have a positive impact on reducing levels of anxiety. Fruit juice, caffeine, fizzy drinks, energy drinks and alcohol are some of the top drinks you should avoid if you have anxiety, but if you do decide to have any of them just remember that it’s all about moderation. Dedicate time to making sure you eat well and regularly so that your blood sugar levels are kept at a stable level, and that you drink plenty of water too.
- Maintain Your Health Needs | If you need to take medication, it’s key to keep taking these, even though you may feel anxiety about leaving the house for this purpose. Remember that you can usually reorder prescriptions by phone, online, or via drop-off points at your local pharmacy or doctors, so you don’t need to come into contact with others. If you’re a Paycare Policyholder, don’t forget to check if you have access to our GP 24/7 service as part of your plan. If before self-isolating you carried out things that made you feel like the best version of you — for example, if you found that meditation or yoga helped you to maintain a fresh mindset — it’s important that you continue to put time aside for these feel-good activities.
- Talk About Your Worries | It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed and anxious sometimes, but when it impacts on your daily life to the point where you have no focus, no motivation, and no desire to take care of your own needs, it’s important to talk about how you’re feeling. When we can’t see or be around our loved ones like before, we can feel even more isolated, but remember you’re not alone and there is a network of support still available to help you through. Make use of phone calls, email, online chats, social media, or texts to engage with someone you trust, or there are digital tools that could help such as the Hub of Hope app, created by the mental health charity Chasing the Stigma which provides a list of local mental health organisations.
If you’d prefer to open up confidentially, Anxiety UK, MIND, Samaritans, and SANE can help, as well as Employee Assistance Programmes (as a Paycare Policyholder, you can access our dedicated service if it’s part of your plan — log in to your MyPaycare area). If you think people you know may need support, simply check-in with them to see how they’re doing — it might just be you that they want to open up to.
- Focus on What You Can Control a Happy Environment | If you’re not already used to working from home, you might find it tricky to balance the two in the same environment. Depending on your own personal preferences, you might find that keeping a tidy home and workspace can help you feel more in control of the two areas of your life, and able to enjoy your surroundings a little more (especially important when we don’t know how long we’ll be at home).
I recently provided some tips for parents who are juggling their own work with homeschooling their children, so I’d recommend checking that out too if carrying out these two huge responsibilities is causing you some anxiety – you can find it here: https://www.paycare.org/paycare-blog-for-you/home-schooling-you-can-do-it/.
And while these are just four things that can I believe can help to manage anxiety effectively, remember that you know yourself best, so do trial and test things to see how you feel and whether they are helping you to feel more in control during this worrying time.”
Wow – thanks for sharing Kerry! It’s great to implement and practice these useful tips whilst adjusting to a new way of living 😊
To see more useful tips for staying healthy mind, body and soul during the coronavirus pandemic, be sure to check back on our blog regularly, or connect with us on social media – https://twitter.com/MyPaycare or https://www.facebook.com/MyPaycare/, we’d love to hear from you!
Until then, stay home & stay safe 😊🧡