Feeling overwhelmed or concerned this year is understandable, especially if you struggle with your own mental health. You might be anxious about your health or a loved one’s health, or what impact the pandemic has had on your life. So here are some steps you can take if you’re feeling anxious about it all.
Talk to someone
It’s normal to feel worried. But if you’re feeling completely overwhelmed, it’s important to acknowledge your feelings and speak to someone you trust. It could be a friend, a family member or a teacher. If you’d like to speak to somebody outside the people you know, there are helplines available, or I am also here to reach out to.
Know the facts
There is so much information out there regarding the virus, and false reports can fuel anxiety. Stay on top of what’s happening by using the government website – it’s the most up-to-date and reliable source of information. The NHS coronavirus page is also useful if you’re worried about symptoms or family members.
Don’t overexpose yourself to the news
Staying informed can make you feel in control, but the constant news reports can be overwhelming. Limit the time you spend reading or watching the news, by planning other activities that you enjoy and will take your mind off things. This might be FaceTiming a friend, watching a TV series, reading a book or going for a walk.
Take a break from social media if it’s getting too intense for you. Remember you are in control of what you see on your feed. Take breaks if things get too much, or unfollow or mute accounts that make you feel more worried.
Plan your time
With so much uncertainty in the news, creating a routine you stick to can really help to maintain a sense of structure and normality. Try to find time in your routine for activities that make you feel good and calm. Think about what you might want to do during this time and how you will prioritise your wellbeing.
Dealing with self-isolation
Wherever you are when self-isolating, think about who you can keep in contact with and how you can use apps such as Zoom and WhatsApp to see and talk to people. Talk to people you love and trust during this time and continue to stay connected. They might be in a similar situation to you, and can help you navigate what you’re going through.
Maintain your routine as much as possible by getting up in the morning and going to bed at a regular time. Staying hydrated and eating regular meals will also help, as well as doing things you enjoy. Try activities in your home that get you moving, like dancing and yoga.
You may find that you need extra support, so think about who you can turn to. It could be someone you know, a helpline that you can talk to, or myself.