There's a lot we're unsure of at this time. The whole world has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and here in the UK, it seems there's some uncertainty on the future; both in the long and short term. The uncertainty about when the outbreak will end, coupled with uncertainty about employment and wages can be enough to cause crippling anxiety symptoms. This stress, worsened by the additional strain of being cooped up, socially deprived and out of a normal routine could be causing a huge impact on people's mental health at a time when medical assistance isn't quite as easy to access as usual. The good news is that there are methods you can use to manage anxiety & stress levels naturally at home, and make the best of the situation we're in.
1. Keep to a routine
Disruption to your usual routine could be affecting your mood. If you're furloughed or isolated, it might seem like there's no reason to stick to your usual daily routine, but cutting out those small daily habits can soon spiral out of control, and into depression. Try not to stay in bed much later than usual, take a shower in the morning, try to exercise once a day, keep on top of the housework & eat proper meals at meal times. A lot of these mundane tasks may seem pointless, but they'll give you a sense of purpose and keep you distracted and therefore reduce anxiety, and that's important for your mental health.
2. Take time to rest
In the same way that binge watching Netflix box-sets could have a negative impact on your mental health, it's all too easy to forget to take time out when you're at home all day. This new and unique situation brings it's own stresses, though, and forgetting to unwind could be detrimental to your well-being. Take that time to have a nice long soak in the bath, meditate, read a good book, bake, or do whatever helps you to chill out.
3. Keep in touch
Try to get in contact with someone once a day. Whether it's a quick phone call, a text message or a nice long video call, speaking to someone can really help with the loneliness that isolation brings. Having a conversation can help you share your frustrations and remember that you're not the only one who's struggling with the situation. With social media painting perfect pictures, it can often feel like you're alone, and even failing because you're finding it difficult. In reality, isolation isn't easy for anyone and anxiety levels are high, so keeping in touch now is more important than ever. Dial that number, send that text message, check up on your people!
4. Don't obsess over the bad news
The news of COVID-19 is naturally everywhere; it's on social media, TV adverts and seems to be the only subject discussed on the news. This is understandable, the situation is huge. With that said, spending too much time focusing on the number of deaths, the symptoms, people failing to follow government guidelines and the question of when this will be over will result in an unhealthy obsession and increase your anxiety. Keep updated with the news, but make sure you take time away and escape. This isn't 'burying your head in the sand', but escaping reality with a good film or game can help to avoid overthinking. Try to remember that obsessing over a situation won't help it. Do what you can to stay safe; mentally as well as physically.
5. Try to stay healthy
Now more than ever it's important to keep your body in tip-top condition. There may be a temptation to eat convenient foods, drink in the afternoon or ditch the exercise routine but remember that the way you treat your body will be reflected on the way your mind treats you. Filling your body with goodness of nutritious foods, plenty of water and healthy supplements will help your brain to release the chemicals it needs to, to keep your blood sugar levels and your mood balanced. CBD can contribute to this by releasing serotonin into the brain and unlike some anxiety medication, it is natural, safe and non-addictive. Serotonin helps to keep stress and depression at bay while providing anxiety relief, which helps you to cope with difficult situations. You can find out more about the effects of CBD on the brain in this blog about anxiety.
We urge you to stay safe - keep social distancing, follow the government guidelines and remember things will all work out in the end.
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