Since the outbreak of the CoVid-19 pandemic, we have seen mental health issues rise with many of us suffering with anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression, like CoVid, don't discriminate in whom they affect. Sufferers can be old or young, rich or poor, cerebral or sporty.
We can’t necessarily thrive in these unprecedented times; but we have the capacity to survive and recover. The process can be therapeutic in itself.
How? Where to start?
- Focus on what is controllable, rather than what you can’t. Trying to control the uncontrollable is exhausting and can seriously thwart our wellbeing.
- Limit your research and news intake. Watching the news can become habitual and lead to ruminating and catastrophising.
There are ways to manage the days ahead. We may not be able to instantly restore our wellbeing, magic pills don't exist, but it is worth bearing in mind the following:
Structure your Day
Consider the basics of looking after yourself to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression: Food, sleep, activities and exercise. Build a routine incorporating these into your day. Structure helps to allieviate boredom. Boredom can perpetuate negative thoughts cycles. This in turn exacerbates low mood and feeds anxiety.
- Food - understand what you eat. Try not to eat out of having nothing better to do. The quality of the food is important. Limit unrefined sugars in particular.
- Sleep - there is science behind sleep. Circadian rhythms help regulate our moods; hormones are key. Go to bed at a regular time. More can be read here.
- Activities and exercise - positive actions can help develop positive mental attitude
Set Simple Goals
Anxiety can be beaten. Hitting simple goals is achievable. It helps to work with others - friends are great for this; sometimes though you may need a professional to walk along side you.
Setting Simple Goals could involve any form of new learning/exercise/diet. Try to find fun and connection. Seek out podcasts, make calls and texts, FaceTime, take walks, start gardening or mindfulness. Often the basic pleasures in life are the most fulfilling.
We now know through the miracle of science that a vaccine will be rolled out. Spring will arrive and our futures will get brighter. It is important to hold hope and think of the positives.
Most importantly, talk to someone if you are feeling anxious or depressed. A trusted friend or loved one. Alternatively, a professional counsellor who will work alongside you confidentially. We can work together to find ways forward that are right for you. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07917 518700. I offer a free 20 minute initial consultation.
Lastly, it is important to remember we are not alone. This is a global issue and we are all facing uncertainty.