Lockdown anxiety help

Is this ongoing period of Coronavirus lockdown and isolation causing you to feel anxious, worried
and possibly even depressed? Well, you’re not alone.

There may be a number of reasons why you’re feeling anxious, which may include; a fear of
contracting the virus, feeling uncertain and lacking the necessary information about what you’re
supposed to do, perhaps you feel a sense of isolation and loneliness and feel cut-off from friends and
loved ones or maybe you’re worried about a lack of income or job security.

Understand that these feelings are normal, it’s your body’s defence mechanism putting you in a
state of high alert.

Hears the good news; you can take steps, now, to reduce those feelings of anxiousness.

The Jordan Legacy’s 10 anti-anxiety tips

Have a regular routine
It’s important you have a routine, whether this coincides with the time you used to get up to go to work or if it’s to create a schedule around when you eat, exercise and go to bed – have a plan. As human beings most of us need a sense of certainty.

Form a healthy sleep regime
Probably the most important tip – a regular sleep pattern is vital to your mental wellbeing, which means you need to create good sleep hygiene behaviours. These could include; exercising early in the day, avoiding caffeine after 1pm, not eating a large meal late in the evening, reducing the time spent on mobile devices particularly in none daylight hours. 

Consider your nutrition and hydration
During long periods of isolation, it’s easy to fall into bad habits. Boredom can cause you to reach for the fridge and snack more, having a beer or glass of wine becomes all too easy, as every day feels like the weekend. These behaviours do nothing for your mental wellbeing. You need a nutrition and hydration routine. Eat plenty of fruit and veg, have no alcohol days, drink plenty of water. Keep a log of what you eat and drink for a 48-hour period, you might be shocked at what it tells you about your dietary behaviour. Simply put; garbage in, garbage out! 

Exercise regularly
Did you know that sitting for longer than 8 hours per day leads to a 40% increase in the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes? Whether you’re working from home or simply at home, set your phone alarm to remind you to move around every 30-45 minutes – do a few squats, press-ups or take a short walk outside and get some fresh air but break that sitting habit. 

Practise Mindfulness
Anxiety is the mind working overtime, usually forward projecting and at times catastrophising about things which are often unlikely to happen. Mindfulness is about maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, as well as your surrounding environment. Check out mindfulness techniques online, find an approach that works best for you, it’ll help calm and relax you.

Limit your news intake
Have you ever felt a sensation of déjà vu, when watching the news on TV? It’s not surprising, when you consider that hour after hour, they re-loop the same worrying statistics and stories, reaffirming your worst fears. Choose when you’re going to catch up on the important facts about the lockdown on TV, radio or social media. Get your update and then implement the other 9 tips here, that’ll keep you occupied in a much more positive way.

Stay connected
During the lockdown, it’s easy to feel isolated, especially when you’re unable to see family and loved ones. Us humans, we are social animals, we need that connection with others and you are no different to the rest of the population. Make sure you plan to connect and engage with someone positive in your life – this can be by telephone, via video calling, even through social media messaging, although being able to see that person and/or hear their voice is the best option. 

Who can you help and how?
Being anxious requires you to spend a lot of time worrying about how you’re feeling. One way to minimise anxious feelings is to focus your attention on others. When you make an effort to help someone, such as doing their shopping, offering your skills for free maybe or simply reaching out and asking someone how they’re doing, both you and that person feel good about the experience. It’s a good feeling to do good.

Keep a journal – record how you’re feeling
How anxious are you feeling – on a scale, from 1 to 10 (most anxious), where are you today? Where were you on the scale yesterday? Try keeping a journal, determine what 10 means to you on that scale and then track, day by day, whether your anxiety level is decreasing or increasing. If it continues to increase or remains high for more than a couple of weeks, we would recommend calling your GP and booking an appointment.

Seek professional help
If your feelings of anxiety are at a constantly high level and have persisted for more than 2 weeks, then this can lead eventually to serious mental health issues.  Here is a link to some of the Helplines we’d recommend you contact.