Managing Coronavirus-related anxiety

March 18, 2020

 

We are committed to support old and new clients during this time with understandable heightened anxiety. This can show it self as more generalised anxiety about the world/future, health anxiety about becoming unwell, or social anxiety about contact with others. Do get in touch with us if you have questions.

 

In what are unprecedented and uncertain times, many people are struggling with worry and anxiety about health, finances and the wider implications for our wellbeing. Here are some ideas to manage anxiety and wellbeing in the meantime. It is important to remember that our brains are used to taking something that is made to sound scary and unfamiliar, and inflating the risk of it actually happening to us. Take  healthy precautions to stay well as you would normally, and try to avoid spending too much time watching the news or online. And remember the coping skills you already have that have worked in the past!

 

- CALM app have provided access to some resources for helping you in this time.

- Headspace app have created resources called "Weathering the storm", available free on the app.

- Helpful articles with ideas for managing anxiety:

Psychologists Say Managing Your Coronavirus Anxiety Starts With Acknowledging You're Not 'Crazy'

Managing coronavirus anxiety: Tips from a psychotherapist

How Scared Should I Be of the Coronavirus?

 

- If you are in self-isolation remember to try and connect with others via telephone, online or video. If you need practical support lots of voluntary sector organisations are offering help with e.g. shopping delivered to your door, food banks, listening services on the telephone. Locally Bedford are currently collating a database of people over 70 in order to be able to offer additional support to them.

 

Ideas for adults:

Taken from Gordon Gooding, LCSW,  https://www.goodingwellness.com/post/corona-anxiety

 

1. Focus on facts, not feelings We know that most people who contact Coronavirus make a full recovery, and those more vulnerable are taking special measures to protect themselves where possible. 

2, Practice self-care activities Look after yourself - sleep, diet, exercise, hobbies, fresh air all help with mental and physical wellbeing.

3. Limit media coverage "What if..." discussions will only increase your anxiety further. 

4. Acknowledge your worries and work through those feelings using e.g. visualisation of the feeling, breathing it out, rating it.

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Helping young people manage Coronavirus related anxiety:

 

Taken from Jennifer Cohen-Harper at PESI (https://www.pesi.com/blog/details/1726/5-ways-to-help-children-with-coronavirus-anxiety)

 

Their key advice:

1. Manage your own nervous system (slowing down, breathing, being aware of your body).

2. Be honest but not alarmist - give them time to ask questions and get age-appropriate answers.

3. Teach children what they can do - e.g. telling them that when thy do good hand wishing they are helping themselves and others.

4. Reassure them that the grown ups are on it! Doctors and scientists are working very hard, and you will update them as we know more.

5. Reduce anxiety with fresh air and exercise - running, walking, bikes, scooter - all help to release anxiety from the body.

 

- How to talk to children and teens about Coronavirus (7 minute video) by Miriam Chachamu, Family, couple and individual Psychotherapy.

 

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