The Covid-19 pandemic has presented a huge amount of challenges to us all. After more than a year of lockdowns and associated restrictions, it’s not at all surprising that stress and anxiety are on the rise.
At Socium, we like to focus on what works. We understand that there is no magic cure to anxiety, but there are many simple steps you can take to ease symptoms and help you look forward to tomorrow.
If lockdown has had an impact on your mental health, we’ve compiled a brief list of our top tips to help reduce your anxiety.
Keep a routine
Staying busy is perhaps the most effective way to combat feelings of anxiety.
This begins with building a routine. If you’re not working every day, why not start a project? Use your time to focus on something you’re passionate about! Channel your anxious energy into something productive; you may be amazed at how much faster the time goes.
When lockdown first started, you could only leave your home to shop for the essentials and to exercise. There are very good reasons for that; beyond the obvious benefits to your physical health, regular exercise can have an enormous impact on your mental health.
It doesn’t matter if you run a marathon or take a leisurely walk around the park, the effect can be the same. Exercising triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin in your brain, which help to improve mood. Regular exercise creates a sense of accomplishment, and besides, what’s better than spending time outside on a sunny day?
Healthy sleeping patterns
It can be all too easy for your bedtime and sleeping patterns to start to slip if you don’t have to get up early in the morning to work. This is particularly true if you don’t consider yourself a “morning person”, but the quality of your sleep can have a huge impact on your mental health.
If you’ve found yourself going to bed later than usual, or struggling to get to sleep once you’re in bed, this could be both a symptom and a cause of anxiety and depression. Poor sleep can be difficult to tackle, but there are several simple steps you can take that can improve your sleep over time. There is no magic cure, though, so repetition is key;
– If possible, keep your work, living and sleeping spaces separate.
– Limit your use of computers, TVs or your phone for at least an hour before you go to bed. Reading a book or listening to a podcast or audiobook are great alternatives that have less impact on your ability to get to sleep.
– Try to keep a static bedtime, and try to get out of bed at the same time every day. This may be difficult for the first few days but you will soon “train” your mind to start to wind down at about the same time every night.
Stay in touch with your friends and family! While there’s no replacement for in-person meetings, video calls are a great alternative. Talking about your challenges with a supportive friend or family member, or even just having a friendly chat can make a huge difference. There’s more than a little truth to the old saying “a problem shared is a problem halved”!
Focus on the present
It can be all too easy to start worrying about the future; that’s the nature of anxiety. Staying in the here and now is hugely important, so try to look at what’s in front of you. Set small, achievable goals for each day, and take it as it comes.
Try to limit your exposure to the news
We’re not saying you should isolate yourself from the outside world, but try not to spend too much time watching or listening to the news. Over-exposure to the 24-hour news cycle can lead to feelings of panic and uncertainty; the more we hear about it, the scarier it becomes.
There’s no harm in staying informed, but it’s more important to focus on what you can control.
It’s always ok to ask for help
There’s no shame in needing a little extra help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we’re always available to help you get back on track. That’s why we’ve launched Socium Check-In.
Check-In is our new subscription service that provides you with a weekly video or phone call with one of our expert Registered Mental Health Nurses. This gives you an opportunity to talk about your current mental state and well-being.
We’re on your side, helping you face and overcome whatever obstacles are in your way. We have a pragmatic approach, focusing on taking small, manageable steps to ensure you’re supported and never left to deal with things alone.
Speak to a member of our team today to arrange an assessment and to discuss our services.