According to MIND Charity, one in six people report experiencing a common mental health problem in any given week — with anxiety being one of the most common conditions faced.
So what does anxiety really feel like? How does it impact on daily life? And, with coronavirus currently dominating world news, how do we cope at a time of extreme uncertainty?
Here are four ways to help from our official health and wellbeing partner Paycare.
Eat Well & Stay Hydrated
Changes in our routine can impact our nutritional habits, and we’re all certainly experiencing big changes in our way of life right now.
Making sure the body is well fuelled and hydrated is hugely important — it impacts on various aspects of our wellbeing, from our sleep and focus, to our motivation and ability to deal with emotions.
Eating a balanced and varied diet prevents the highs and lows of blood sugar too, which is shown to have a positive impact on reducing levels of anxiety.
Fruit juice, caffeine, fizzy drinks, energy drinks and alcohol are some of the top drinks you should avoid if you have anxiety, but if you do decide to have any of them just remember that it’s all about moderation.
Dedicate time to making sure you eat well and regularly so that your blood sugar levels are kept at a stable level, and that you drink plenty of water too.
Maintain Your Health Needs
If you need to take medication, it’s key to keep taking these, even though you may feel anxiety about leaving the house for this purpose.
Remember that you can usually reorder prescriptions by phone, online, or via drop-off points at your local pharmacy or doctors, so you don’t need to come into contact with others. If you’re a Paycare Policyholder, don’t forget to check if you have access to their GP 24/7 service as part of your plan.
If before self-isolating you carried out things that made you feel like the best version of you — for example, if you found that meditation or yoga helped you to maintain a fresh mindset — it’s important that you continue to put time aside for these feel-good activities.
Talk About Your Worries
It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed and anxious sometimes, but when it impacts on your daily life to the point where you have no focus, no motivation, and no desire to take care of your own needs, it’s important to talk about how you’re feeling.
When we can’t see or be around our loved ones like before, we can feel even more isolated, but remember you’re not alone and there is a network of support still available to help you through.
Make use of phone calls, email, online chats, social media, or texts to engage with someone you trust, or there are digital tools that could help such as the Hub of Hope app, created by the mental health charity Chasing the Stigma which provides a list of local mental health organisations.
If you’d prefer to open up confidentially, Anxiety UK, MIND, Samaritans, and SANE can help, as well as Employee Assistance Programmes. As a Paycare Policyholder, you can access their dedicated service if it’s part of your plan — log in to your MyPaycare area.
If you think people you know may need support, simply check-in with them to see how they’re doing — it might just be you that they want to open up to.
Focus on What You Can Control a Happy Environment
If you’re not already used to working from home, you might find it tricky to balance the two in the same environment.
Depending on your own personal preferences, you might find that keeping a tidy home and workspace can help you feel more in control of the two areas of your life, and able to enjoy your surroundings a little more, which is especially important when we don’t know how long we’ll be at home.
While these are just four things that can I believe can help to manage anxiety effectively, remember that you know yourself best, so do trial and test things to see how you feel and whether they are helping you to feel more in control during this worrying time.