SUGGESTIONS TO HELP DEAL WITH THE STRESS AND ANXIETY [COVID-19]

SUGGESTIONS TO HELP DEAL WITH THE STRESS AND ANXIETY {COVID-19]

Uncertainty, panic, not knowing….some of this is already in the past.
Let some of the answers we now have become our pathway to wellness and emotional recovery. SUGGESTIONS TO HELP DEAL WITH [COVID-19]

Lets talk about “oh my goodness”…
I can’t go to the movies,
I can’t go to a restaurant,
I can’t go to a concert.
Actually lets make a list…
No parties
No weddings
No religious festivals

Okay I’ll stop there since my list may be out of date when you read it. Things are changing all the time.

SUGGESTIONS TO HELP DEAL WITH THE STRESS AND ANXIETY [COVID-19]

SEARCH FOR THE POSITIVE

So let’s search and find a positive for all these restrictions. Yes I have a growth mindset and I want you to have one too.

It took me one second to find that positive! “compliance and doing my part to support the wellness and recovery of this global crisis”.

I can’t be happier knowing I am doing my part!

A WORD ON THE NEWS AND SOCIAL MEDIA

The news and social media in my view are not a problem for me. If it is for you, then its ok to set some limits for yourself. For me, I need to be up to date and educated (where possible).

AVAILABLE TIPS

I like the tips the community throws around and I take what I need from it to function, share, prepare, change, and warn. In no way do I let it bring me down. I insist it brings me up so that I can feel part of the community who wants to do the right thing e.g. self-isolate if needed, socially distance as required, and more.

Lets move in on STAYING CONNECTED


So important especially if you are self isolating. You may not be able to go out, but you can use face time, phone calls, emails, and whatever means help you communicate with others if you are self-isolating.

BEWARE YOUR AMAZING CHEEKY MIND

Your mind may create a huge disaster for you and make you feel like you are going to miss out on the entire world, or that 2 weeks will seem like 2 years.


Look for the positive.

Its your right and your excuse to rest, recharge, catch up on reading, relaxing, cleaning, organising and more.
It will pass.
Your whole life has passed.
It’s just 2 weeks.
Let’s ground ourselves and think of those who are worse off.

So lets get on with suggestions to deal with the stress and anxiety that is happening in our world [COVID-19]

FEELINGS

First of all, we all have feelings. So how about you don’t deny them.
I always like to say “respect your feelings”. They are our little children. Now I’m sure we all agree that we wouldn’t ignore our children so why ignore our feelings?

We certainly don’t teach our children to ignore their feelings do we? So now you have permission to feel your feelings. They are real. They are normal. And they may vary day to day, week to week. Most of all, during this global crisis let’s be kind to ourselves.

Read on as I give you suggestions to deal with the stress and anxiety [COVID-19]. But as a final point about feelings I want you to know that when we acknowledge our feelings, that’s when we can manage them. Sounds simple and sensible, but if you are having difficulty, please don’t ignore it, seek guidance and assistance.

THOUGHTS

It’s so difficult walking around these days without the word or thought of “Corona Virus” floating around in our mind. These days we walk it, we talk it, we think it. How can we not? We are on alert. We are curious. And we seek updates. Normal isn’t it?

PERCEPTION

It’s all about attitude when we allow information that we receive to impact us. For this reason I offer you suggestions to deal with the stress and anxiety [COVID-19].

I want to take this opportunity to use myself as an example. I choose to be calm. I notice the chaos. It’s on the media and it’s in front of my eyes wherever I go. Whether I panic or not I have no control over anything.

I cannot control what I cannot control.

I can only control what happens on the inside of me emotionally.

THE CALM SUGGESTION

The best thing I can do during this global crisis is stay informed and do my bit. Let’s say I practice what I preach. I preach stay calm and stay informed.
But there’s a but. What if you struggle with this.

YOUR FOCUS

What else is in your life? Do you have family, pets, friends, relatives, work or study commitments, hobbies and a whole heap more? I just named some typical things one may have in their life.

Where is your focus? Do you focus just on the danger of the COVID-19 and ignore the rest? This is not ideal. What’s ideal? Well we may all have our own opinions, and mine revolves around being okay with what’s going on. So let’s look at what we can do. Let me continue with suggestions to deal with the stress and anxiety [COVID-19].

PLAN

Like with all my tips, I like to suggest a PLAN. I’ll put it in a way so you can personalise it for yourself. I sure have a personalised one for me. And I make suggestions that I hope my own kids grab on to and with their own learnings from school or media I imagine they create their own plan to include awareness and still get on with their life.

THE PROBLEM


So be sure to identify the problem. Be specific. I can’t stress that enough. Quite often we speak so globally and this becomes rather overwhelming fast.

SOLUTIONS

Then instead of just sitting with “I have problem”, make room to include some thought about what practical solutions may be. Make a list of what you can do. Most of the time people wish things were different but do not go as far as making a list of things that can be done. Pick things from the list and do them.

THE POWER OF THE LIST

Its just like you need to clean the garage but the whole problem is you don’t know where to start or how to start. So you can make a list (whether its a paper list or mental list, its a step in the right direction). Remember breaking tasks into smaller tasks makes things smaller and easier, especially in our minds.

PLAY TIME

So what do you do to play and be creative. Shall I say, what else do you do. Again let me use me as an example. I’m living with this current global situation just as you are. When the sun shines, I visit the outdoors. I still go for my outdoor run if I can (usually I move some mountains so that I can) and I watch my movies with my family. Is that play? Yep, sure is. I give lots of time to my dogs, so I guess that’s play too. If I dig deep into my routines and flexibilities I could add to my play time, lots more things.

Remember the language we use. I say play for running. You may say “that’s not play” – so like I said earlier on, personalise it for you. Play for you may have a different meaning. For example piano may be play for you.

This may even be a time that you decide that you can create and add new forms of PLAY. Go on be creative.

PHYSICAL MOVEMENT

Or you may call it exercise, is useful for so many reasons. Its therapeutic, makes you feel good (releases endorphins), uses up anxious energy, gives you something else to focus on, it’s healthy, and all the other good reasons that I truly don’t need to detail here. A nice short walk is a great form of physical movement. You may do this once per day or twice per day – but who’s counting. Remember to personalise it to suit you. Physical movement (or exercise) can be house work, cleaning the car, or a gym workout.

THOUGHTS WITH A SPLASH OF GRATITUDE

So what can you think of to help you get unstuck? Get moving away from a worried thought? Move away from fear? Okay I have a great idea that often works. Gratitude. This is a great way to start and end the day. It’s even a great interruption to the day (throw it in).

You can even use it to interrupt a pattern that you may be running which you can’t shake off e.g. catastrophising with your thoughts, or overthinking.

What pattern do you run? Now let’s learn to disrupt unhelpful patterns.

Can I just add “its normal to not feel normal right now”

TIPS: for adults and for teens


Don’t overestimate the dangers
And don’t underestimate the ability to protect oneself from such dangers

Here is another tip and this works so well for teens: Helping out others can really make you feel good.

Have you ever seen a child crying because they were upset because their blocks fell down. They keep playing but they also keep crying. The cry almost sounds like a tune /or a song.

As an adult you realise you need to stop /interrupt this pattern. The child isn’t even doing it consciously. Do you see what I’m getting at? So what pattern do you run? And lastly what will you decide to place on your gratitude list?

GRATITUDE

I know today I was grateful that I had the time to do some exercise. I was grateful for the coffee that I drank in the morning. I was grateful for my dog sleeping on my lap. Right now I’m grateful that I have enough power on my laptop to write this piece.

SELF CARE

Talking to friends, relations or a professional can be so therapeutic and relieves distress. This becomes the critical moment. You let go of the stuff inside. I really think its important to let go of this stuff with love, compassion and respect. We have learned to validate feelings for children, so do the same for yourself and other adults too.

SIMPLE

Do you see there was no secret formula. We don’t need a new solution.

I have barely mentioned corona virus in this blog yet that’s what I’m really talking about.

You will get through this.

ANXIETY AND ITS FRIENDS

The thoughts surrounding COVID-19 have done quite a job on increasing anxiety, overwhelm, stress, panic and more. I wish this was not happening, but it is.

THE POWER OF ACCEPTANCE

I accept it and I accept the thought that I will do my part and I also accept that it will pass. I am the one to decide my thoughts and I choose to be confident about it soon being a thing of the past. No social media, no news flash at the moment has the power to change that for me.

TRAVEL CALM

So I travel along doing my best to stay calm and deal with the stress and anxiety that is happening in our world. May I have strength to continue this way and to be able to face any difficulties that come my way. As I write this, I am fine. So I won’t let my imagination take me to creative disastrous mental movies which may cause me emotional distress.

COPING

So there we have it. Be aware, and be your best version. May you use your own resources as you create your coping skills to get through.

Self isolation, social distancing, lockdowns and panic-buying.
Can also include the interpretation of …
Self compassion, technical socialising, wind-down, and smart buying.

Let’s use some different phrases so that the other ones can become old.

I have tried to lighten the stress on this topic for you. I hope it was an easy read. Be safe and well. Bless you all.

If you need professional or extra support remember you can reach out to

Lifeline 131114
Mensline 1300789978
Kidshelpline 1800551800
Suicide call back service 1300659467
Beyond blue. 1300224636
Headspace 1800650890
Reach out au.reachout.com
Care leavers Australasian network (CLAN) 1800008774

You can also check out this useful guide about guiding mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

Check out this blog on how to support children’s mental health during lockdown. It offers great tips and guidance.

REMINDERS

Remember the experts are trying to develop a vaccine to help contain the virus. I hope by the time you read this, that it’s already done.

We now know how it affects the body and what symptoms to look for, even some great practices to prevent and do the right thing for ourselves and others.

I heard the Italians sing to each other from their balconies. (I had to add that). Look at that spirit!

What about all the random acts of kindness going on. Don’t worry about the stupid fights in the store over toilet paper that they make viral. How about the giving, the helping, the supporting and all the wonderful stuff the world is doing. THANK YOU.

Amanda Dounis
Practicing calm during chaos.