Bombarded with news bulletins and social media round the clock, it’s no surprise that misinformation, myths and mass hysteria are prevalent among us whilst we hunker down in our homes during the current Coronavirus pandemic.
So, how can we help the anxiety – whether you’re isolating alone or with others? If you’re working from home, how can you and your team ease your worries?
1. Create a Worry Window
Although it’s said that ‘information is power’, too much information or incorrect information can make your anxiety worse and lead to catastrophising.
Accessing the right information is important, so seek out more reliable sources and try not to ‘Doctor Google’ everything. If you are having symptoms – head to NHS.co.uk or call 111.
Also, bear in mind that symptoms of anxiety can be similar to those of Covid-19 including shortness of breath and tightness in the chest, this happens when our cortisol levels are raised.
Limit your exposure to any information, set aside an hour or half an hour to listen to or read the news and peruse social media at the beginning and end of each day – this will also help with dealing with uncertainty as we’re constantly learning more and moving forward. Remember, this will end.
2. Distract yourself
Do this guilt-free!
Boxsets, Netflix, film marathons and gaming consoles mean that we have an almost unlimited source of distraction – use this time to enjoy these things, when are you ever going to be in such a unique situation as this again?
Spring clean, clear out those cupboards, rearrange your furniture – turn a distraction into something that you find yourself totally absorbed in.
Isolation doesn’t mean loneliness
If you are worried about your health, your work or just need to have a bit of a rant about how frustrated you are, do it. Call or FaceTime family, friends or colleagues. Have meetings over video link so that you feel more connected.
4. Routine, routine, routine
This is even more important now that we find ourselves confined to our homes, especially if you already suffer from anxiety.
- Get up at a reasonable time, get dressed and ready for the day – there are only so many times you can dodge a video meeting due to you still being in your underpants or dressing gown!
- Plan out your day, break for exercise, get some fresh air or to read a book.
- *Cue inevitable groan* – don’t drink too much, especially if you suffer from anxiety as it won’t help. Although, if you are a parent, perhaps allow yourself an extra glass or two…
- GO TO BED – there is a temptation to stay up later than usual, try and follow your normal bedtime routine so you feel refreshed in the morning.
5. Sadness is inevitable
This is an unprecedented time, it is tough, it is unique, but it won’t last forever. Reach out – offer to do something for someone else, a friend, neighbour or colleague – helping someone else is a great way to alleviate your anxiety and help yourself.
We are all in this together!
What we’re doing at oe:gen
- Teams chats – we have our ‘kitchen table’ lunchtime video chats for anyone to join, a Friday drinks virtual catch up, and video meetings to stay connected.
- Encourage flexibility at such an uncertain time – allowing people to set their own hours in order to help with looking after children whilst working and getting enough ‘downtime’.
- Tips – we’re all talking every day and finding ways to help each other out.
**My Top Tip – Put the radio on a low/med volume in the background whilst working to feel more connected to the outside world**
Here are some useful links: