The arrival of COVID-19 has prompted a lot of disruption to daily life for many people, and this can cause new and exacerbate existing mental health problems as well as increase general feelings of anxiety.
For some, the big changes of working from home (if possible), looking after and schooling the children, cancelling events and holidays, and uncertainty of the current situation is forcing us out of our routine and habits, which can feel daunting and surreal.
As well as causing these problems, the pandemic also presents an opportunity to reflect and chance for change, and allows us to work on our psychological flexibility to adapt to the new situation whilst holding onto the things that keep us feeling well.
While you may no longer be getting out of the door for 7am to start the daily commute, it is advisable to keep to any routines that you can.
Waking up, taking lunch, exercising, and going to sleep should all be done at the same time you would usually, as this helps to minimise disruption to biological rhythms as well as keep us feeling in control.
Sleeping in late, not exercising and eating on an ad-hoc basis can contribute to issues with our daily (circadian) rhythm, and disrupting your mood, cause sleep problems such as insomnia or early waking and lead to more feelings of negativity.
Human beings are by their very nature, social creatures and so suddenly being unable to see our friends and family in person can be quite overwhelming.
We rely on one another for support during times of uncertainty and no longer having people to lean on can be a shock to our normal routine, causing problems with depression, anxiety and make feelings of loneliness worse.
Remember to keep in touch with people via phone, video calls, email – any way possible in fact. Whether it’s talking about your day or discussing your feelings with others, human connection can instantly improve mood and allow you to see problems differently.
Use Effective Coping Strategies
Applying effective coping methods that have helped you before, is key to managing stress during this period.
Whether it’s a technique you learnt in therapy or counselling with us, found by yourself or just something you know helps (such as writing down your thoughts), stick to doing healthy coping mechanisms.
For Additional Support
If you require additional support, our Newcastle Psychologist can offer a range of online appointments via Skype, Zoom, Facetime or WhatsApp Video to suit you.
For more information, or to book an online consultation contact us using the box below.
Dr Stuart Sadler
Chartered Clinical Psychologist
Newcastle Psychologist & Counselling