We took some time out at this hectic time to sit down with Liggy Webb, a best-selling author specialising in life skills. Amongst other things, we discussed anxiety stemming from coronavirus. It's no surprise that people are feeling anxious. There's so much going on, self-isolation, social distancing, even queues around supermarket car parks. But, there are ways we can deal with this change.
Liggy provided some brilliant tips on how to manage the anxiety-levels as they look to creep up. Read on to discover the bitesize pieces of advice. There are ten points. And we hope they help you in some way. We can all get through this together.
1. Limit your news intake
While you may want to keep in touch with what is going on at the moment, compulsive checking of the news will only agitate you and cause anxiety. It is advisable to limit your check-ins and avoid the news during vulnerable times of the day, such as the very first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed.
2. Control the controllable
It is helpful to focus on the things that are within your control and establish some routines to give your day some comforting structure. Remember that even though things are happening around you that you can't control, you will always have control over the way you choose to respond. This alone is an empowering thought that can calm anxiety.
3. Be kind to yourself
Setting aside time for yourself is all about self-care and establishing healthy boundaries. Making your wellbeing the biggest priority has nothing to do with being selfish, and no one needs to feel guilty about this. It is the most responsible approach to living a healthy and productive life.
4. Be mindful
Being mindful and focusing on all your senses will help you to appreciate what is going on around you, in the here and now. This, in turn, may have a very relaxing effect and help you to feel calmer and less anxious.
5. Take a deep breath
Breathing exercises can be one of the simplest ways to ease anxiety. When you focus on your breathing, it will help you to calm down and relax. Simply breathing in through your nose for a count of four, holding your breath for a count of four, and breathing out slowly through your mouth for a count of eight can be very helpful.
6. Cope well with uncertainty
If you start to get carried away by imagining the worst-case scenario, you will begin to feel out of control and become more anxious. Take life one step at a time and avoid dwelling on the "what ifs".
7. Be positive
A positive mindset will help you to process what is going on around you in a much more balanced way. Whenever a negative thought passes through your mind, flip it over and ask yourself what the positive alternative thinking could be.
8. Manage your stress levels
Be aware of what triggers your stress and look at ways to minimise and avoid things, wherever possible, that may agitate you. Exercise and diet play a large part in managing stress, so create some healthy habits by staying active and avoiding too much sugar, caffeine or alcohol.
9. Build your resilience
Resilience is an essential life skill to develop as it affects your ability to cope with stress, setbacks, adversity and uncertainty. Learning techniques to build resilience will help you to improve your inner resources and strength.
10. Connect with others
Many people cut off all contact when they are worried and anxious; however, this is the time to reach out and get support. Each person right now will be impacted differently, and it's important to remember that you are not alone. We are all in this together.