Keeping Well: Managing stress and anxiety
The Covid-19 pandemic is new and life-changing for all of us. There are a few things we can do to manage feelings of stress and anxiety caused by this outbreak.
First, acknowledge and accept your feelings – it’s okay to feel how you’re feeling. For many of us, it’s the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus that makes us feel stressed and anxious, for example, not knowing how we’ll be impacted or when this period will end. Remind yourself that this is temporary and that any difficult emotions you’re experiencing will pass.
Talk to people you trust about your worries and concerns. You could be helping them by doing so, too. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, there are helplines you can call. Wilson James staff can also call our confidential Employee Assistance Programme, 24/7.
There are a lot of things outside of our control at the moment. Focusing on these things can leave us feeling drained, anxious and overwhelmed. Try to focus on things you can control, for example, washing your hands frequently and often, avoiding touching your face, and staying at home as much as possible, even if you feel well.
You can also control where and how often you listen to, watch or read the news. Stick to trustworthy sources, limit how often you check for updates, and take breaks from your media channels, particularly in the evenings.
Look after yourself with daily exercise, healthy eating and sleep. Take some time out each day to do something you find relaxing, whether that’s yoga, meditation, listening to music or podcasts, reading, watching a movie or TV series, or getting creative with art, gardening or cooking. You could also write a list of things to feel positive about, and remind yourself of them when you’re feeling low.
Being kind to and helping others, even while self-isolating or maintaining social distance, will help you to feel happier yourself. Reach out to relatives, friends or neighbours in need – particularly older people or people with disabilities – can you help them with their groceries, collecting prescriptions or even just a phone call? If you’re able to, donate to food banks. Remember: we’re all in this together, and you don’t have to face your stress or anxiety alone.