At these tough times, many of us are struggling with understandable worries about our health, the people we love, the work we may have when life begins to return to ‘normal’. What will normal look like for you? Being proactive about our stress levels can be difficult when so much of our normal has been turned on its head. Survival in a pandemic means dealing with the immediate needs of food, shelter, water, paying the bills, and keeping ourselves and our loved ones alive.
At times of high stress, the most primitive part of the brain is activated, the amygdala, which orients us to signs of danger in the environment. This helps us to reduce or deal with threat but when it continues for extended periods of time, it is exhausting.
This is the reason you may be feeling exhausted at 5 pm and ready to crash on the sofa, despite the fact that your activity levels may have been much reduced over the past three months.
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It is really important that you find daily practices that reduce your sense of threat, acknowledge your anxiety, and build your inner soothing system in healthy sustainable ways. If you make this commitment to yourself you can reduce the risk of mild anxiety becoming more chronic.
Practice Autogenic training: this is the term given to a system of relaxation where you control physical tension by concentration on six different areas of focus such as heaviness in your arms and legs, warmth, breathing, heartbeat.
Practice Abdominal Breathing: inhale and exhale deep into the abdomen, through the nose, daily. Download free relaxation files on
Grounding: Practice keeping your feet on the ground. If we constantly move on the balls of our feet we become ‘ungrounded’. Remove your shoes and notice your connection to the earth.
Get Outdoors Even if your mood is low it is critical to get some natural light, Vitamin D, and fresh air on a regular basis.
Find a ritual: make a deliberate effort to create a psychological winding down at night which helps you to switch off. May be as simple as washing your hands, listen to music, have a warm bath. It may mean removing news and social media if you notice this is feeding anxiety. Contact Us Online Counselling Available