It is very apparent that many people are struggling at present with the stream of constant bad news and the daily uncertainty as to how things are going to unfold.
Over the last few days, levels of anxiety for many are at unhealthy levels and there are a lot of people struggling. With this in mind, I have outlined below some simple steps that might help.
Focus on your physical health
It is so important to get daily exercise as it releases dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin which all help in regulating our mood and to deal with levels of stress. Getting outdoors is best however if this isn’t an option then consider yoga, dancing and/or cardio exercises indoors. The important thing is to elevate your heart rate and to get your body moving.
Much of what is taking place in the world at present is beyond our control but other aspects can be influenced directly by our thinking and actions. The food that you put into your body is one such area and will nourish and sustain you when you are under pressure. Eating well is essential and so too is ensuring that you drink plenty of fluids. Limit alcohol as this will ultimately lower your mood compounding feelings of anxiety.
Focus on your mental health
Firstly, it is essential to turn off the notifications on your mobile device, set it onto airplane mode or turn it off for parts of the day. There is so much misinformation and with the 24 hour news cycle it is so unhealthy to our levels of stress and anxiety to repeatedly check for the latest updates. Yes, stay informed but check in a couple of times each day. That is sufficient and will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.
Secondly, do the things that you enjoy and that promote a positive mindset. This might be reading a book, taking a long bath or shower, listening to music, mindfulness or meditation. Journaling, arts or crafts are options. Prepare a nice meal or bake a cake. These are all things that help you to move from a place of anxiety to a place of ‘flow’ where you lose yourself in the moment.
If you have been made unemployed or have been asked to work from home, it is essential to develop a daily routine. One that gets you up early each day. Make your bed straight away (one task completed helps to build momentum) and get moving.
Reconnect with others
Social distancing may mean that we spend less time being physically present with one another but that doesn’t mean that you cannot reconnect with others. Remember, how we used to phone one another instead of messaging? Well now is your time to reconnect. Of course, skype or zoom for example also provide us with the opportunity to communicate with others. Try not to discuss the current health crisis non stop and instead try to talk about other topics too.
Every challenge is an opportunity
Finally, recognise that every challenge provides us with an opportunity. That opportunity may be to spend more time doing activities with the kids or partner, support your local small business, learn a new hobby, start an online course, support neighbours that are more vulnerable than ourselves and finally remember to remain grateful for the simple things in our lives.
Joe McDonald, founder of create10 is a professional coach and trainer. He provides one to one coaching in person, by phone or online. Also, team performance workshops as well as affordable online courses. See www.create10.ie for further information or email firstname.lastname@example.org