When the World Health Organisation declared that the Corona Virus outbreak was a global pandemic, many of us were forced to self-isolate inside our homes to slow the spread of the virus.
At present, many people are feeling the anxiety that has come from lockdown, with only key workers and certain others still being allowed to return to work. With restrictions in place still affecting people’s activities, routines and contact with friends and loved ones, those who suffer from anxiety may be finding this period difficult and may need additional support to cope during this time.
Our anxiety service in Newcastle is still offering effective therapy and counselling via telephone and online appointments (using Skype, Zoom, Facetime and WhatsApp video), and we have also put together some tips to help those experiencing anxiety during lockdown.
Reframe & Challenge Negative Thoughts
While it is easy to become bogged down with the ‘I’m stuck inside’ message, this dismal sentiment is no good for those who are anxious, and it can also make anxiety worse by increasing feelings of isolation and lack of control.
Instead of focusing on what you can’t control, use some anxiety management techniques to reframe your mindset, and focus on what you can control, rather than what you can’t.
You can’t control what is going on in the world, so focus your attention on what you can control – such as how you respond to this challenge – and do one thing productive per day. This will help lead you to a more positive attitude and help reinforce your sense of control during this time.
Whether it is a long-avoided task, something you’ve never gotten around to doing, or even putting off starting a new hobby, this is your chance to slow down and focus on yourself.
Keep or Build a Routine
Our anxiety service in Newcastle recommends trying to build or keep your routine from the pre-quarantine days as closely as possible. If this no longer fits your current situation, change it as required but keep a routine.
Living, eating, working and relaxing, and for some, parenting, in the same place for long periods can lead to negativity which slowly but surely brings on dwelling and feelings of despair. Trying to maintain structure will help you avoid this.
Ensure that you wake up, eat meals, shower, and exercise at the same time as you normally would, or in a way that fits the routine you currently want to have. This will help to prevent falling into a negative cycle of withdrawal, and will also make transitioning back to normal much easier when the time comes.
For Further Information
Dr Stuart Sadler
Lead Clinical Psychologist