Anxiety is high, we are living in uncertain times and I for one sometimes need a bit of help dealing with the worry and panic I’ve felt through all of this.
So I talked to Amy Solon, a qualified clinical hypnotherapist, reiki practitioner and coach who helps people overcome stress and anxiety.
Here is her practical techniques and tools you can use to manage your anxiety. She calls it her toolkit and it’s amazing the difference it will make to you.
Here are her first three top tips for you to follow – and the Queendom of Fife will be publishing more soon to keep you on track.
What’s the issue?
Unless you live under a rock, you will have a pretty good idea that there are two major issues affecting the world at this moment in time:
- Coronavirus/ COVID 19
- Anxiety and panic the mere words coronavirus/ COVID 19 trigger for us.
My aim in this blog, is not to teach you that there is nothing to worry about in relation to COVID 19.
Rather, my hope is that I can share with you, ways in which you can keep your anxiety proportionate to the risk that COVID 19 presents.
It seems obvious, but social media and the internet generally, amidst the good stuff, is awash with mis-information, speculation and false news stories.
Whilst it is important to stay informed about COVID 19, it is also important to choose your news sources carefully.
Remember that whilst it is good to remain informed, it is not good to obsess.
Toolkit Tip 1 – Limit your media
Limit it to a particular time of day – maybe to 10 minutes in the morning and another 10 minutes in the evening.
Refer to sources that you can trust.
And as much as possible, ignore everything else related to COVID 19 – unless it directly impacts on you, your family and friends or your work.
Thinking – you’re in control
A lot of my therapy work focusses on the assumption that how we think, impacts on how we feel which impacts on how we behave.
At a time of anxiety, our thoughts can literally grow legs.
Before we know it, they end up in a place miles from where that thought started.
Sound familiar? Thought so.
The good news is that there are lots of different tools that we can use to ground our thoughts. Which brings me to my next tip:
Toolkit tip 2 – Focus on what you control.
Maybe you can’t control the bigger picture.
But what can you control in the small microcosm of your own day to day life?
- Are you following WHO guidelines in relation to hand hygiene?
- Are you adhering to social distancing guidance?
- On a community scale, are you supporting neighbours who may need additional support?
- Are you in a position to support local businesses by shopping locally?
Errors of thinking are part of my everyday work.
There are too many to mention for the purpose of this article, but I would like to highlight one that I expect many of you readers will have experienced at one time or another.
Does the word ‘catastrophise’ ring any bells with you?
Many of us, have a tendency to believe that a problem – and its potential outcome – will be far more catastrophic than it actually is.
So, let’s take a look at my third Toolkit tip:
Tip 3 – Call it out
The simple act of recognising that catastrophising is an error of thinking is remarkably helpful. Call the thought out.
Highlight it for what it is: An irrational thought that is unlikely to happen.
Doing this helps to reduce their occurrence and ultimately their effect on our overall mood and behaviour.
Remember: A THOUGHT IS NOT A FACT.
Acknowledge it, but you don’t need to engage with it and follow it down the rabbit hole
Thanks for reading my blog.
Look out for the next of my top tips in the Queendom of Fife soon, stay safe and look after yourself and those around you x
Thanks to Amy for the first of your amazing tips to tackle anxiety – look out for the next instalment of her Toolkit coming up in the next week. Until then, check out Amy’s Facebook page for more information about her work.