The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live and placed pressures on all of our lives in different ways and for a lot of us; its increased anxiety levels. Tensions with work, family, losing support networks, juggling work and childcare, they are all persistent worries and anxieties it has brought into our lives.
We heard a wonderful phrase which is relevant to this feeling of unrest, and that is; ‘We are weathering the same storm, but all in different boats’. All of us have a different level of anxiety when it comes to our mental health, particularly when it comes to COVID-19 and being respectful and sympathetic of each others’ triggers’ is essential.
Asking for help – support
As a doctor, I always signpost my patients to MIND.org.uk for self-help advice that may be of use. Of course, some patients need different levels of input but connecting with other people who are going through similar things and realising you are not alone is always helpful.
Asking for help may seem like a burden to some people, but support is always available. It really helps to talk to those close to you and seek medical help if you are feeling low. Our team can always help too, to find out more about our membership and out of hours care head here
Another helpful thing to do to help ease your anxiety levels is exercise regularly. Regular fresh air and outdoor activities will help boost our immune system, help us stay healthy and release those endorphins. This doesn’t have to be starting a complicated exercise regime but merely something simple like a brisk walk working up to something more challenging as your fitness improves.
The Couch to 5k programme is a great way to get moving and build up some stamina. This can also be done with a friend in a socially distanced manner. Charities are struggling for funding at the moment, so setting an easy target and raising some money may provide good motivation.
What can we do as a community to help us cope and adapt?
Life has changed, we can only meet in small groups, and that is dependent on what tier we are in. At the start of lockdown neighbourhoods connected and a sense of camaraderie was present, we must keep this going. Stay in touch with those close to you, talk to friends and family and meet via zoom or regular phone calls. If you receive an invite for a chat or a walk in the fresh air; try your hardest to find the inner strength to accept that invitation. It can be challenging but ‘saying yes’, even when you feel like saying no and staying safe at home; really can help change your outlook and ease anxiety levels.