The constant barrage of developments regarding the Coronavirus outbreak is giving everyone huge anxiety and can cause particular challenges for people living with anxiety, stress and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Here is some amazing advice from Anxiety UK that will really help if you are struggling.
Firstly, try to limit your exposure to news sources which are covering the coronavirus issue as this only serves to feed fear.
Ensure that you have some mental ‘downtime’ woven into your daily schedule. Mindfulness practice can be incredibly helpful with apps such as the Headspace app will help us stay in the here and now as opposed to allowing our minds to think about future scenarios which might never happen.
If you are feeling concerned or overly worried there are some techniques you can use to help manage your anxiety such as simple breathing or (short-term) distraction exercises and mindfulness. A free guide is available to download here www.anxietyuk.org.uk/products/booklet/breathing-and-relaxation-guide/
Try practising the APPLE technique which encourages you to Acknowledge, Pause, Pull back, Let go and Explore..
Notice and acknowledge the uncertainty as it comes to mind.
Don’t react as you normally do. Don’t react at all. Just pause and breath.
Tell yourself this is just the worry talking, and this apparent need for certainty is not helpful and not necessary. It is only a thought or feeling. Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are not statements or facts.
Let go of the thought or feeling. It will pass. You don’t have to respond to them. You might imagine them floating away in a bubble or cloud.
Explore the present moment, because right now, in this moment, all is well. Notice your breathing and the sensations of your breathing. Notice the ground beneath you. Look around and notice what you see, what you hear, what you can touch, what you can smell. Right now. Then shift your focus of attention to something else – on what you need to do, on what you were doing before you noticed the worry, or do something else – mindfully with your full attention.
For further help with anxiety visit www.anxietyuk.org.uk.