These are worrying times for everyone. The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live and the way we work. Not only are many of us adapting to working from home, we simply don’t know what the future holds. And that uncertainty is hard to deal with.
And with many people locked down, isolated and practicing social distancing, anxiety can gather momentum. A research poll carried out by YouGov and commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation found that over six in 10 people (62%) were worried by the COVID-19 outbreak.
People around the world are frightened for the health of their loved ones, their livelihoods and very futures, not knowing what will happen to their jobs and finances. So what can we all do to cope and manage our feelings of helplessness?
Body and mind
It’s important to ensure that you take regular breaks. Although we’re restricted in our movements, a half an hour walk every day for example can work wonders. Or sit in your garden (if you have one). There are many ways to exercise at home, for example video workouts. Or why not try a meditation app to help calm the mind? Make sure you get a good night’s sleep too.
Communication with colleagues via regular video calls is extremely important for mental wellbeing as it fosters a sense of belonging. Learning how to manage a remote workforce, is critical for those leading teams. If you are struggling, then be open about it with your manager, don’t keep it bottled inside.
Keep in touch
FaceTime, WhatsApp or Houseparty video calls and messages will help alleviate some of the stress and concerns about the health of your loved ones. Make sure you encourage your friends and family to participate for a virtual beer or coffee. Or maybe even connect with old friends.
While it’s important to keep up to date with keep abreast of medical and government guidelines in the news, we must be careful to not overdo it. It can become an addiction which fuels feelings of anxiety. Make sure you find time to relax and do the things you enjoy.
Remember that even if you’re on your own, you’re not alone. There are many local community groups and volunteers who can help. And if you’re really struggling, there are a number of NHS recommended support groups. Anxiety UK for example is extending its helpline hours during this time of upheaval.
There is no escaping the whirlwind situation that we all find ourselves in. It’s like nothing we’ve ever experienced before. It’s bound to cause us anxiety but we must endeavour to stay positive and manage our anxiety as best we can.
For while we can’t control external events, we can control how we react to them.