Managing your fears and anxieties
We’ve put together some tips and advice on things you can do at home, even as we face this unique situation, to manage your fears and anxieties.
Less news is good news
It can seem difficult at the moment to limit the amount of news you take in, but simply consuming a little less of it can have a big positive impact on your mental health. Stay informed, but set yourself a limit on the amount of news you watch or consume each day. Avoid stories or footage that you recognise are making you feel anxious or sad.
It may feel that a lot of situations are beyond your control at present, and some of them are. Worrying about events or situations you have no control over only leads to more worry, so try to put these things to one side in your head and focus instead on the things you can make decisions on.
Focus on the good things
Try to focus on the things you do have, rather than the things you don’t. Lots of psychotherapists recommend keeping a daily ‘gratitude list’ to give your mind focus. They can help us to frame things more positively, even during difficult times. At the end of each day, make a list of everything around you that makes you happy and think about these things, rather than the things you don’t have or cannot currently do.
The power of positive thinking can go a long way when it comes to boosting your mental health. We are living in unsettling times, and it’s OK to acknowledge this and to feel emotions such as sadness and fear. But try to spend time too thinking of positive scenarios, for example some of the things you will be able to enjoy once more when the time comes.
Take time to breathe
Take some time out each day to meditate or try some breathing exercises – both of these are fantastic activities for helping to manage worry, anxiety or stress. There are lots of apps and resources online which can guide you. Create structure to your day by setting aside a specific time to do a soothing activity you enjoy, so that you look forward it.
Do something that makes you smile
Create a routine that includes one fun or enjoyable thing each day. If your current situation means you are at home with family, do something together that makes you smile. You could try out a group yoga session or run an impromptu art class. If you’re on your own, call a friend or loved one for a cup of tea and a chat, or lose yourself in a good book for a couple of hours.
Appreciate the small things
Notice one good thing each day, no matter how small. It could be reading about an act of kindness in the news or appreciating an evening sunset now that the days are getting longer. At times like this, we may need to work a little harder to appreciate the good things in life, but when we do it is worth it for that little mental boost.