Feeling anxious is more common than you think it is. Being anxious is how our mind develops a response to solving the problem. Even if you are not a typically anxious person, it’s common to feel anxiety during a period of change and adversity.
Anxiety is normal, it’s dependant on the person or the situation of how people can handle it. Anxiety can also be helpful. For example, during a pandemic wearing gloves and washing your hands frequently to protect yourself is a form of anxiety.
However, sometimes anxiety can be unhelpful and that feeling of being overwhelmed will need some extra steps and planning to keep it at bay.
Here are some helpful tips to manage your anxiety:
- Channel your anxious energy into an action, hobby or planning something:
Instead of worrying, focus your energy on something that you can control. Find something that you have wanted to do while in lockdown, read a book that isn’t negative, or plan an event that will happen when you get out.
- Limit or avoid social media, news and anything that is misinformation:
Being exposed to constant, alarming, negative stories or theories puts your mind into a panic. The more you read and hear, the more frightening you feel. This is where the above tip becomes helpful, you need to distract yourself with things that are not steered to the negative.
When you are always listening to the news or reading about coronavirus it’s hard for your mind to escape to the positive. Just limit your time, find sites or news programs that are reporting facts and leave it at that.
- Focus on one activity or task at a time.
You will find that anxiety is fuelled by overwhelming yourself with too many things or thoughts. So STOP, take a breath, and write down everything that you need to do and also do each task separately from start to finish. Stay focused on the here and now, and take each step as it comes.
- Look after your health – mind and body.
Sleeping well, having good eating habits and exercise regularly helps with calming depression and anxiety. Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol, drugs and fatty foods.
When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that triggers a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.
When you balance that altogether your body will have more energy, and when you have more energy you feel more positive.
- And lastly, always stay connected with people/others who you care about.
People in your life will make a huge difference to all your worries. It helps with the feeling of being alone, and talking about your concerns to people can aid in your fears. You will find that others are feeling the same and that others are going through the same thing.
With the number of technology advances lately, it’s easier to talk to people without having an excuse. Get a Zoom account, get WhatsApp (where you can video and audio chat), or simply call or text them.
If none of these is helping, please seek professional advice and help. If you would like to talk to someone WAYS offers free counselling services for young people and their families, please call us on 9365 2500.
Most Importantly, be assured that for most people, the anxiety will be temporary, and will reduce over time, especially once the virus has been contained.