Coronavirus Anxiety: Therapy during the COVID-19 outbreak

Coronavirus Anxiety: Therapy during the COVID-19 outbreak 1

Like many people, my resilience to coronavirus related anxiety feels increasingly frayed. Every day it is almost impossible to keep our minds away from the threat of coronavirus and its impact on our health, economy, loved ones, finances and employment status. The current coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented and is impacting on society and the way we live our lives every day. With social distancing and self-isolation measures in place, how do we maintain our mental health and wellbeing?

Start by managing your expectations.
Go easy on yourself. Never underestimate the emotional load that this pandemic brings, or the impact it will have on your productivity. Expect periods of difficulty concentrating, low motivation or a state of distraction. During this lockdown, adaptation will take time, so be kind to yourself as you settle into this new rhythm of remote work and isolation. Set realistic goals both for yourselves and those around you.

Regulate your stress through routine
Prioritise your wellbeing, practising a good sleep and morning routine, exercising and eating well is a great place to start. Be conscious of maintaining your steady routine, and avoid any inclination to lean on alcohol or other indulgences, to manage stress. Exercising is a positive way to lower your stress levels, regulate your emotions and improve your sleep. A steady routine helps manage anxiety and will help you to adapt more quickly to this current reality. Ideally, in both your physical workspace and in your headspace, try to Create clear distinctions between work and non-work time. Find something to do that isn’t Covid19 or work-related that brings you joy.

Be compassionate with yourself and with others
A lot of our control has been taken away from us right now. However, maintaining connections and how we talk to ourselves and others during these challenging times is still ours. This outbreak is causing a lot of stress for everyone so we cannot expect to be our best selves all the time. We may be in social isolation, but we need not feel alone. Make sure to ask for help or to reach out to those who might need it.

Accessing therapy online during the COVID-19 outbreak
Unusual times call for unusual solutions; coronavirus has currently removed the essential ability of humans to meet up and support each other. We have to be creative and flexible in response to this crisis; this may include expanding the use of digital therapy. As people are now unable to access face-to-face treatment due to ongoing Government restrictions, online support is currently the preferred route for many. If you’re accessing online therapy from home, try and find a quiet space for this where you’re least likely to be disturbed. Wearing headphones during your sessions can help to block out any other background noise, so you’re not distracted by them. Online therapy is also an excellent way to benefit from some human contact when you’re following social distancing guidelines. This can help you stay connected to the outside world, which can boost your mood and wellbeing. Humans are social beings, so really try to make the most out of this.

Finally…stay in the present
Take each day as it comes and only focus on the things you can control.
This is a stressful time for all of us and will test your mental-health practices. Choosing to embrace good mental health and wellbeing measures, and relying on others when necessary, we can protect ourselves and those around us.

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