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Do you feel anxious?

We all feel anxious from time to time. It’s normal. We were made to feel that way, as a means of protection when we were confronted with a flight or flight situation. What you have to look out for is if feeling anxious becomes a habit. If it becomes your default position. In other words, you wake up and immediately feel anxious about your day, who you are going to meet or what you have to do, and this feeling persists through the day.

There are many reasons why we feel anxious but left unchecked it can lead to depression and confidence can plummet.

Self-care in these situations is important for our mental well-being. We are living in very uncertain times now with the pandemic affecting every aspect of our lives. Adjusting to the massive uncertainty we are surrounded by means we have to create our own resourceful routines which create a reliable level of ‘certainty’ and ‘normality’ for us every day.

If you start feeling overwhelmed with the situation you find yourself in, notice it and acknowledge it. When you do that you realise it is your body trying to tell you something about how you are feeling. You can then consider ways to change how you feel instead of pushing it away and dismissing it, only for it to rear its ugly head more ferociously later on.

Make a plan to embrace your feelings and decide to do certain things that you know will make a difference for you and commit to doing them every day. Pick a time you know you will do it.

Take some deep breaths. Ideally outside in the fresh air but if that is not possible, stand at an open door or window.

Take some exercise.  Do some stretches. Go for a walk.

Stop and smell the roses. Enjoy the sound of birdsong, the exquisite patterns of veins on leaves. The smell of blossoming flowers or the silhouettes of trees against a winter sky. Look up and enjoy the moment.

Get some sleep. A 20-minute cat nap has been found to be beneficial in restoring your energy when you are flagging after a long period at your computer or have the mid-afternoon slump.

Take regular breaks from your computer. May only be five minutes but use the time to stretch, walk around the house, make a brew.

Drink water. Keeping hydrated will help maintain energy levels

Eat some healthy food. Make sure you have regular meals which are healthy and nutritious. Keep them simple and what you like, so you don’t add to your overwhelm of things to do. If you want to snack, make sure it is a healthy one!

Connect with someone. If you are feeling isolated with working from home, smile at people you meet on your daily walk. Connecting with another human being is important to us, as we are social beings. It can be hard when we are told to stay home. We are fortunate  that we do live in a modern world and digital  connection has never been easier. Call or Zoom someone and enjoy the fact you can see or hear them and feel connected.

Be grateful. Make it a habit that the first and last things you do every day is express gratitude for at least three things you have. Eg  ‘I am so grateful that…………

…..I had a good night’s sleep….

…..I had a lovely cup of coffee….

….I still have my job….

….I have wonderful children…..

We cannot change what is happening outside of us and the idea is to learn to control the things you can and leave the things you can’t.

For more information, contact Bernadette.