Anxiety is a word that we probably all have some understanding or experience of, whether it ranges from a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease, to our heart racing and feeling sweaty and shaky. Often anxiety can actively change our responses or behaviour and there are of course those that live with it every day.
My sister is an example of somebody who has unfortunately suffered with it for many years but for the first time ever, it became my reality at the end of 2019 following some planned back surgery. Three weeks after my operation, I then had to undergo a second emergency operation and it was following that I began to experience a loss of confidence in my body’s ability. This led to the onset of anxiety which was completely out of my control.
My expected six-week recovery had suddenly increased and before long I had barely left the house in two months… I was becoming very comfortable with the scenario of not re-entering into life as I knew it before.
It’s now April 2020 and I find myself in month 4 of virtually living within four walls and experiencing a new type of anxiety amid the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
As difficult as it is, I believe that there are at least some things I can do about my anxiety so over the last couple of weeks, I have put in place a familiar framework and structure to each day. I found it is bringing me a new level of calmness as well as helping me function.
The following are a few simple things that are certainly helping me to maintain my mental health and bring a new rhythm and improvement to my overall wellbeing.
- Taking time to start the day with a time of quiet, relaxation and prayer.
- Ensuring I have set out a good structure for the day
- Taking time to speak to at least one friend/relative each day.
- Trying to exercise daily and eat well, including the odd treat!
- Getting to bed at a decent time
- Spending time every day doing something that I enjoy
We will all have a different experience and perspective during this unusual and unprecedented time we find ourselves in, but it is vital to ensure that we look after ourselves well in order to be able to care for and support others.
The Public Health England have published some guidelines on wellbeing in relation to the Coronavirus on https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19