In the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak we are facing a unique challenge to our way of life and this brings many unexpected changes to us all. Our instincts to protect ourselves and our loved ones have seen many of us stocking up on sanitizers, searching for toilet rolls and filling our cupboards. The Coronavirus has created anxiety in many of us as we are bombarded with ever changing news in this landscape of uncertainty. Our worries are very real and include concerns about our own health, those of loved ones, and compounded financial uncertainty continuously filling our thoughts. This has resulted in heightened health anxiety and also exacerbated OCD symptoms in some of us living with this condition.
We can however take a few steps to help ourselves and each other;
1. Try and limit your consumption of the constant news updates. Become more aware of how constant checking affects your mood and recognise when you need to self-regulate by switching off and distracting yourself with some music, a movie or boxset, your favourite activity or maybe a call to a friend.
2. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and focus on keeping some normality in your day- to-day activities through keeping some structure, in your day, sharing meal times if you are in a household and keeping the mood at home as ‘normal’ as possible.
3. Keep connected, we live on an island and have always found ways to keep connected to our friends overseas so use your devices to communicate. Set up weekly video calls with friends, use WhatsApp Video, FaceTime and other ways to see and speak to each other. It feels better when we are talking to each other.
4. Finding positives where we can and practice kindness to others can help to reinforce our feelings of the greater good and keep our faith in human nature. Self-isolation may sound like a punishment but knowing it is because we care for each other feels more bearable.
5. Laugh and find humour where we can and let’s try to keep a smile on our faces. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. Watch the classic comedies and revel in the ‘belly laugh’.
6. Eat healthily and eat a balanced diet and keep hydrated. Some foods you can eat to protect against bacteria and viruses and boost your immune system include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and beans. Consuming more of these whole foods can help you safeguard yourself and build natural immunity in the body.Keep an eye on your diet and enjoy a treat but don’t allow the pounds to creep on!
7. Remember to exercise If you are working at home to take stretch breaks & move and have regular time away from your screen ( check out nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/free-fitness-ideas/)
Take advantage of this time to perhaps learn how to meditate, practice yoga or Pilates. Keep an eye on your diet and have the odd treat but don’t let this time at home allow the pounds to creep on!
Remember To Be Kind to Yourself & To Your Loved Ones & To Those in Need x
Mary Griffin, Prof.DipPsyC, Cert. Hyp CSBSc (Hons), MBAMary brings a to the team a specialist knowledge in psychodynamic therapy and counselling in anxiety-related issues, depression, addiction and mental health wellbeing. She is also a clinical hypnotherapist.
Trained by BPS (British Psychology Society) in Complex PTSD & Trauma treatment, Mary supports our veterans in our Back On Track Charity. She has developed a unique approach which we have successfully deployed as ‘Walking with Veterans’.