How can we best help ourselves in this time of uncertainty and potential health risks?
- CHECKING: avoid things you know make you anxious; for example if you know that checking the latest news online 18 times a day raises your anxiety levels then decide how to calm that down in a way that works for you. And if you are good at ‘body-checking’ – that is, you are constantly checking your body to find out whether you have any symptoms of ill-health – then teach yourself to look for the parts of your body and the body systems that are working well
2. WHAT CAN I PERSONALLY CONTROL? Make a list of the things that are currently going on for you that you a) can control, and b) can’t control. . Focussing on what you yourself can actually control saves a lot of energy. Remember to go for a sense of balance and a sense of being ‘good enough’ rather than perfect (unachievable, you may have noticed).
3. STOP: Settle down somewhere comfortable and allow yourself a couple of minutes to find a memory of some time in your life – recent or it could be long ago – when you dealt with something uncertain in a calm way, or you found yourself able to be more flexible than you had thought you were.
This may be something mundane and ordinary – a time when they didn’t have what you needed at the shop and you found a way of managing anyway – or it may be an important time in your life when you were able to stay calm – or something else. Enjoy that memory, step into it as though it’s happening right now and feel how it feels to have those resources again. Is there a place in your body where you feel that feeling? What colour is that feeling? Bring yourself back to this feeling/colour/place whenever you want.
The more you practice being in this place with these feelings, the more your brain will find it easy to go there in general