Following government guidance, keeping on top of personal hygiene and protecting the most vulnerable aside, it can be tricky to know how to handle the current Coronavirus situation. It is likely, however much you tell yourself ‘not to worry’, that you will be, and it is perfectly ok to do so. Panic and worry are two very different concepts, for instance it is natural right now to express concern- it shows you are human and in touch with what is happening in the world around you. But, what steps could you be taking to make sure your worry doesn’t boil over into blind panic or unmanageable anxiety? Try these steps:

1) Schedule your worries

Unable to control those worrying thoughts, those fears, that anxiety? Rather than try and suppress it, it is important to acknowledge these feelings and accept that they may be part of your daily existence at the moment. That being said, these feelings do not have to control you. You may find it useful to set aside a time each day where you allow yourself to process these thoughts. The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) suggests a 30 min  ‘worry period’ to really help you remain present throughout the rest of the day.

2) Switch off before bedtime

Although it is important to stay informed, limiting daily news consumption might be wise right now, especially before bedtime. Many of us are so bombarded by what we are reading/seeing in the media we are losing sleep. Sleep is one of the most important gifts we can give our body to allow it to function at its most effective, so it is important to switch off before bed. Leave your devices downstairs, or use an App which enables you to block certain websites for specific time periods so you aren’t tempted to check throughout the night.

3) Social distancing is only physical

As human beings, socializing is extremely important. Just because you are social distancing right now, doesn’t mean all communication has to stop. In fact, keeping up a regular correspondence with loved ones, work colleagues and friends is one of the best things you can do right now, especially if you a prone to worrying about their welfare. Just hearing their voice can provide reassurance and remind you that you aren’t alone

4) Reframe the situation

Now is the time to see the glass as half full rather than half empty- to do this, reframe your situation. So don’t see a lockdown as being stuck inside but as being safe. Don’t view extra time as boredom, but as a long-awaited opportunity to slow down and focus on something that is important to you. Even if you only achieve one productive task a day, it is still promoting a ‘can do’ attitude and a reminder that life goes on.

5) Speak out

If you feel like you need extra help, many professionals are now offering appointments by phone or conference call during this uncertain time. Or if you are uncertain how or what can be done to help, why not fill out a form online for some practical tips on how to help? Dr Jeremy Alford is now offering sessions online which incorporate his effective therapy methods during this period when people are asked to stay home. For more information, you can contact him here: https://www.choicesretreats.com/

If you are feeling like you need more support at this time, please do contact us at: admin@choicesretreats.com

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