Relieving anxiety during the pandemic

We can’t control outcomes

We all know that often, we cannot always control outcomes. Worrying about them is almost pointless, even though nearly all of us find it hard not to at times like these. Worrying causes us to speculate about future (probably pessimistic or even dystopic) scenarios and possible outcomes that more than likely unlikely will not come to fruition.

This wasted energy creates a personal environment full of anxiety and creates the hormone Cortisol, which can be damaging to our health. As Brandon Mentore, health coach, says, “Although cortisol can actually help maintain the immune system when released in small doses (or help us keep our wits about us when we really are in danger), it can also hinder the body’s ability to fight off disease, when elevated for long periods of time.

“That’s why those who suffer from chronic stress are more prone to age-related diseases, like heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, depression and high blood pressure.”

We all know that none of us can control toilet paper or pasta hoarding, or what’s being said on the news, or even how long Covid-19 pandemic might last. However, we can control our own actions.

How to cope with alarmists

Living in a chaotic time, we cannot control how others will react to this new landscape we find ourselves in. But we can take control of our own attitudes. Tuning out the alarmists, the negative, anxiety-inducing news, the conspiracy theorists, helps us continue to live peacefully, even when amongst the chaos.

To relieve anxiety, we need to focus on what we can control

Instead of fretting over the newest fear-packed headlines, could you try one of the following? In doing any of them, you will have taken control of your decisions.

  • turn off the TV
  • disconnect from social media
  • make yourself a hot drink
  • phone a lonely friend
  • listen to some favourite upbeat music
  • making something or gardening
  • do a breathing exercise
  • create a list all the reasons you have to be thankful
  • take a long soak in a bath
  • go for your daily exercise

Please share your own ideas for staying in control when things around you are out of control.

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