Putting Covid-19 anxiety into lockdown
Written by Elly Mitchell
The world has become a little topsy turvy hasn’t it? There is a real sense of uncertainty, and with that, an almost bewildering level of anxiety.
As someone who experiences anxiety on a relatively regular basis anyway, I must admit, I have found the past few weeks increasingly tiresome. However, after a few discussions with different people, I discovered that a vast amount of those I know feel EXACTLY the same, which, in a peculiar way, made me feel slightly comforted.
With that in mind, I thought now would be an appropriate time to share some of the techniques that have genuinely helped me; of course, everyone is different, but if you can even pick one thing to supply you with comfort, then that’s something, at least.
- Create a routine at home that reflects the norm . This has been particularly challenging, especially with the daily developments introducing new rules to adhere to, but by creating a basic schedule; setting my alarm, cashing in my ‘one exercise per day’ with a morning jog along the seafront, then dividing my day into projects with breaks in-between, I have found myself feeling more at peace – not to mention, the commute from the bedroom to the living room is an absolute dream in comparison to the usual – every cloud!
- Don’t obsess over the media. As someone whose mobile phone is more or less a permanent extension of their person, it is almost impossible to avoid the doom and gloom of news alerts and social media conspiracies. However, when it comes to partaking in a little ‘self care’ it is important to try and switch off from these things where possible, and only take in as much information as you can handle. I have realised that delving into the dark corners of the internet and surrendering to scaremongering does not make me feel bright and shiny. Take some time out, switch off, change the channel and go battle that pile of laundry you’ve been ignoring for weeks!
- Escapism starts at home. Similarly to the above point, it helps to get some time-out from the ‘real world’. I have been working my way through about a million and one writing projects that I previously haven’t had time for, picked up my guitar again, and have been getting experimental in the kitchen – there are tons of activities you can do to mentally leave your surrounding four walls, without physically leaving the room. Check online for live-streamed exercise classes, free online courses, drawing and writing projects, easy-going film and television recommendations, pick up a new book, or maybe pen and paper – there’s loads to do to keep your mind active and away from worry, whether it’s diving into a UK best-seller, or trying your hand at writing the next one!
- Talk. Talk. Talk. You don’t have to be within two-metres to communicate with someone. FaceTime has been a huge saving grace for me, allowing me to continue contact with my nearest and dearest without the anxiety of putting them at potential risk – we are SO lucky to have so many fantastic means of communication – use them! Group chats, emails, phone calls, you don’t have to FEEL isolated to be in self-isolation; and if you are feeling anxious, then talk to someone about it, the chances are, right now, they are feeling the same – now more than ever, we need to steer each other through the hard times.
- Don’t forget about nature. I find it hugely calming to be surrounded by nature; now, this is clearly more of a challenge as of the newest restrictions, however; even something as simple as opening the window and feeling the breeze aids in reminding me that there’s a whole world outside, it keeps the claustrophobia at bay, and makes home feel like less of a prison. I am fortunate enough to have an abundance of house plants, moving these into one room to create a mini Eden project is another easy way of bringing nature to you. If you’re fortunate enough to have a garden, take the opportunity to have a little wander around, maybe engage in some gentle gardening! Even if it’s pouring down with rain – it’s hard to feel overwhelmed when we are surrounded with such great nature.
These are undoubtedly fretful times, I am trying to remain calm and positive by focusing on life after the storm passes, I hope you can too where possible. If you are feeling overwhelmed, please reach out, and remember that as we steer through troubled waters, we are all in the same boat.
Be safe, be selfless, be kind, and we’ll see each other on the other side.
Elly Mitchell is an Events Executive and zany writer, taking a bite out of Southsea and serving up delicious articles along the way. www.forkandvine.co.uk
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