Keeping Calm Through Coronavirus
In the space of just a few days, we’ve been forced to change almost everything we’ve ever known – from our daily routines to our social life – and adapt to a new way of living. And with our health at the heart of it all, it’s no wonder anxiety and panic has risen for many.
The good news is that there are brilliant experts and organisations out there on a mission to bring us coping mechanisms, tips and free resources. Here are a few we’ve come across that we hope will help.
Feel all the feels
Firstly, know that it’s ok to be feeling whatever thoughts you initially have – whether you’re finding this all surreal, scary, or anything in between. While we can’t control the current situation we’re in, we can acknowledge our feelings and take actions to stop them from having a negative impact on our mental wellbeing.
Harness the power of talking
Have your thoughts and worries become overwhelming? It’s easy for things to escalate when we keep them to ourselves, so Young Minds encourages anyone who’s struggling to speak with somebody they trust – whether that’s a family member, a friend, teacher or helpline.
Take in healthy doses of news
News stories and ‘breaking’ headlines often serve to feed fear, and there are a lot of fake stories circulating our social feeds at the moment that do anything but keep us calm. Keep up to date using trusted sources such as the BBC, WHO and the NHS.
And whilst it’s important to know what’s going on in the world, make time to switch off. But how do you take a break from something you, quite frankly, can’t get away from? Start by turning off your TV, radio and social channels, too.
Set a personal goal to only check social media for half an hour to an hour a day; Your phone should allow you to put limits on the time you spend on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Which leads us onto our next point…
Find new things you love
Whether you’re a social butterfly or a shell-loving tortoise, there’s no denying self-isolation will be a challenge for us all. Why not start by looking for opportunities in tough times? So delve into a great read. Discover a new podcast. Listen to music. Get fit. Cook up a new recipe. There’s much more at home life than you might think.
Take life day by day
Know that infuriating saying, “Cheer up, it might never happen”? We hate to admit it, but sometimes there’s some truth in it. For many who suffer with anxiety, it’s all-too-easy to conjure up the worst-possible-case scenario, known as catastrophising.
Anxiety UK suggests weaving mental ‘downtime’ into your daily schedule. It’s a way to keep in the here and now and avoid thinking about future scenarios that may never be.
Because that’s often easier said than done, apps like Headspace exist to help. They’ve created a section of the app called ‘weathering the storm’ that’s free to use right now.
Ok let’s face it, this situation is anything but normal. Saying that, there are ways to stick as closely to your routine as possible – and Young Minds suggest doing just that. So get up and go to bed at the same time every day, chat to your friends over FaceTime, or even try recreating your school schedule with new activities.
Get your heart rate up
As tempting as it is staying in our PJs all day, exercising can have huge benefits on our mental wellbeing. Take a look here at the latest Instagram accounts to follow and live-streaming workouts you can do from the comfort of your own home.
Focus on your breathing
Simple breathing techniques can help you manage anxiety. Anxiety UK suggest practising the APPLE technique which encourages you to Acknowledge, Pause, Pull back, Let go and Explore.
Pop back to the blog soon – and keep an eye on our social channels – for more information, advice and much-needed distractions.
In tough times, embracing all the good in the world becomes essential. So if you’re in need of a pick-me-up, or a reason to feel proud to be human, read our first Good News round-up!
NCS Grad Connor tells us how having autism has helped him gain confidence and do things he didn’t think were possible...
We could all use a little pick me up right now... and a few new channels to binge-watch. We asked you which amazing women inspire you on screen, and here’s what you had to say...