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Suggestions for coping with anxiety and worry about the coronavirus

Spending time outside in your garden is really good for your health and wellbeing 

Here are some tips to help manage our anxiety, as we move into the next phase of this Coronavirus pandemic:

Tip one - try to keep things in perspective

Take a step back and remind yourself that most people who contract the virus will make a full recovery. The fact that there is a great deal of media coverage, as well as all the changes taking place in our lives to protect ourselves and the NHS can feel alarming, but it’s really important to focus on following the official guidance and to keep ourselves well.

Tip two – get the facts from a trusted source

For example https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ and try to avoid reading or listening to lots of less scientifically based information on the media or the internet. When we fill ourselves with fears that may be less than rational and over which we have little or no control, it tends to make our anxiety worse. Think about limiting the number of times you check the facts to once or twice a day, as a constant stream of news reports can feel overwhelming.

Tip three – communicate accurately with your friends, family and children

Talk about the news coverage of the coronavirus with honest and age-appropriate information. Remember that children will observe your behaviours and emotions for cues on how to manage their own feelings during this time.

Tip four – stay connected safely

Maintaining our social networks can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. Again, feel free to share accurate and reasonable information which people might find helpful - that’s the key thing.

Tip five – take care of yourself

Pace yourself and use strategies you have used in the past to help manage your stress. This might include mindfulness or meditation etc. Avoid using unhelpful coping strategies such as tobacco, alcohol or other drugs and instead make time for your basic needs, like eating healthily, getting enough rest, keeping physically active and chatting to friends and family over the phone or online.

Tip six – seek additional help where appropriate

If your fears are becoming overwhelming and adversely affect your job performance or interpersonal relationships, you should consider seeking professional help.

There is a simple quiz, which then offers lots of useful self-help advice on the Every Mind Matters website, as well as how to seek professional support if you need it.

Other useful websites:

Mental Health Foundation

Mind

23 March 2020

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