The Panic Pandemic
Updated: Apr 3, 2020
Is the Corona situation leaving you feeling stressed or anxious and are those feelings having a real negative impact on your day-to-day life?
It may be that you already suffer from an anxiety disorder, which is being exacerbated by current events or perhaps these feeling of excessive worry and anxiety are new to you and you don’t feel fully equipped to handle them.
There is no hiding from the fact that we are currently amidst a worldwide pandemic, as declared by The World Health organization. CoVid-19 is rapidly affecting our economy and we've been told that the situation will get worse before it gets better.
However, seemingly spreading faster than the virus itself, is the panic that is manifesting along with it. We have all seen the images, either first hand or in the media, of empty supermarket shelves caused by stock piling or of individuals walking round with masks, protective suits, eye wear and blue gloves. Understandably this is all having a profound affect on the public’s state of mind.
Anxiety itself, is a natural process which acts as a vital warning sign to prepare us for fight or flight in times of perceived danger, and even stress in small doses, can actually help us achieve daily challenges and motivates us to reach our goals.
Its only when these states become constant, severe or out of proportion, that they become unmanageable and problematic.
These feelings can then have a profound negative effect on both our physical and psychological being, from our behaviours and actions to our actual physical health.
Inability to focus or concentrate
Feelings of hopelessness
Raised or irregular heartbeat
Raised blood pressure
Irritable bowel issues
Obsessive-compulsive thoughts or actions
These are just a few of the possible symptoms of acute anxiety and stress. It is also worth noting that research shows that elevated stress has an impact on our immune system and so making us more susceptible to infection or illness. So while its imperative that we remain informed and take all reasonable measures and precautions to look after ourselves and loved ones (such as regular hand washing, avoiding unnecessary contact and isolating when needed), its also vital that we pay the same attention to our mental and emotional well being.
The following are a few recommended steps in the fight against the panic and to keep you in good mental health...
Step 1 – KEEP INFORMED BUT ONLY WITH THE FACTS
Remember there is a lot of misinformation and scare mongering out there, especially on social media. Be cautious of paying too much attention to things like a dubiously sourced, re-circulated Facebook post and instead make sure your sources of information are reliable and factual. Sources for credible related information include the World Health Organisation http://www.who.int/en (which includes a myth buster page) and The National Health Service https://www.nhs.uk/which has information’s on the precautions you should take, the symptoms to look out for, and the steps to follow if you are concerned.
Step 2 –STAY CONNECTED
Even if you are in self-isolation, phone an old friend? Video call a relative, Write an email or make contact through social media. Physical isolation shouldn’t mean social isolation. It's important we stay connected, have conversations, speak about our feelings and remember to also have conversations that aren’t Corona Virus related.
Step 3 – KEEP YOURSELF HEALTHY
This may seem an obvious one but as well as regular hand washing, remember to drink plenty of water and keep hydrated. Avoid excess alcohol or caffeine. Not only can these aggravate feelings of stress but research has shown they can lower your immune system. Eat healthy foods, exercise regularly and ensure you get enough sleep. Not only do these things keep your immune system at its fighting best but can also help keep the blues at bay.
Step 4 – BE A POSITIVE MEMBER OF YOUR COMMUNITY
“Evidence shows that helping others is actually beneficial for our own mental health. It can reduce stress, improve emotional wellbeing and even benefit your physical Health”. (Mental Health.org)
Corner shop owners, Asiyah and Jawad Javed recently spent £2k of their own money to provide masks, antibacterial gel and wipes to vulnerable people in their community. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/coronavirus-corner-shop-helping-fight-21682481 While their efforts go above and beyond what is expected, there are other simple steps we can all take to be helpful members of the community.
· If you are well and you know of a well but vulnerable person who lives alone, maybe check in on them from time to time, check they have food and water and have a chat.
· When buying food, bare in mind that there are elderly and less fortunate people who are unable to stock pile, so be considerate and only buy what you need.
Step 5 - KEEPING PERSPECTIVE
Keeping the facts in mind, it is important to also be realistic and keep things into perspective. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that the risk of dying from Covid-19 for an otherwise healthy adult, is minimal. Most people who contact the virus will only experience mild symptoms. and work is continually being carried out to help those who are more vulnerable.
Step 6 - ROUTINE
With all the precautions put into place, it’s a given that most peoples normal routine will be disrupted to at least some degree. Change can often cause anxiety. Even if you are isolated at home, it is important to create and keep some sort of structure to your days. Routine can actually help us cope with change. It helps give us a sense of purpose, form healthy habits and helps us feel more in control. The certainty of routine can help us deal with the uncertainty of life.
Step 7 – TAKE TIME TO RELAX YOUR BODY AND MIND
Take time to still do the things you enjoy. Perhaps read a good book, paint, practise yoga, meditate in fact do anything that helps keep you calm and relaxed.
Practising effective breathing and relaxation techniques can have extraordinary positive effects on your mental state and wellbeing.
One of the biggest benefits of Hypnotherapy is its effectiveness in helping you to experience true relaxation. When we are relaxed, we…
Find focus and clarity
Become productive and motivated
And perhaps, the best thing about relaxation is that if you are truly relaxed, it is impossible to also feel anxious. These two mental processes cannot co exist.
I am currently offering 50% off all services for a limited time only. To take advantage of this offer or find out more about how Hypnotherapy can help you gain back control, please get in touch and quote AJRMar2020
*Please don’t be offended, but all clients will be asked to either wash their hands or use the sanitiser provided before entering the therapy room. Please be assured that the therapy room and contents will be sanitised regularly throughout the day. If you have any signs of a cough or fever, please cancel your appointment and follow the NHS guidelines. My usual cancelation fee will not apply.
*UPDATE* I am currently only offering virtual sessions. Please contact me for further details.