“I wanted to see what would happen if I didn’t give up” - littlestlady.com

Managing Anxiety and Worry During COVID-19

Hello poppets,

I mean its fair to say I never thought my next blog post would be of such a nature and I think its safe to say non of us quite expected the whole scenario.

OH BOY!

My inbox is currently fuller than ever with you guys worried about the impact of COVID-19 (commonly known as Coronavirus) and how it may effect you and your loved ones.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as SARS which some of you may remember from 2002. Coronavirus disease or ‘COVID-19’ is actually a new strain discovered at the end of 2019.

Common signs of infection include
– Fever
– Cough
– Shortness of breath and breathing difficulties

To tackle the spread of infection we are being told to regularly wash our hands, covering our mouthes and noses when coughing and sneezing and also staying away from those with symptoms. Some countries are encouraging self isolation even for those without symptoms due to the impact the virus could have on those with weakened immune symptoms, conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, asthma and cancer, pregnant women and the over 60’s.

But what effect is it having on our brains!

Exactly, what is the impact on our mental health in such a time when the majority of the world is currently gripped by fear and worry.

You know, part of me doesn’t want to say this but i’m going to. My inbox has been busier than ever and I mean ever. Even busier than it usually is during those various monthly awareness months we have be it for abuse or mental health. From live videos to instagram stories I have been asked just how I’m managing to stay so calm. In fact my most commonly asked question right now is “are you not worried?!” I don’t feel now is the time for me to start banging on about recovery again however, I do feel it needs to be mentioned. The only reason I am ‘so calm’ and ‘not worried’ is because I’ve trained my brain to realise that excessively worrying about what may or may not happen and things that I cant control is not good for anyone.

I spent so much of my life worrying what was going to happen next and trying to halt anything further happening to me. So much had happened and repeatedly that my life consisted of waiting for the next thing. It was normal for me to think that way. However after months and years passing I realised that I had wasted so much of my life worrying about the next thing happening even though I had left my abuse and was in a safe environment.

I had to realise that worrying wasn’t touching anything. It wasn’t putting a layer of bubble wrap around me, it wasn’t teaching those that had previously hurt me to not. In fact, it was doing nothing but hurting me. I can now apply that to most situations bring the rational mind into play and make rational decisions based on the situation.

In these current times it’s safe to say our feelings are valid somewhat. Its not something a lot of us have ever had to deal with. Its new and strange and we dont know how to act.

Or do we?!

See, right now we are actually being told exactly what we need to do and how we need to act. Somehow in there our brains and humans around us are behaving in ways we’re not being told to. In fact I don’t remember seeing anyone giving us advice to EXCESSIVELY hoard toilet rolls and pasta and though I know a lot of us need new governments I think that would be the final straw if they started announcing that was what we needed to do.

I really don’t want to ‘group’ us more as I think thats been a huge chunk of the problem. We have seen or heard one countries quarantine restrictions and taken on the feelings of that country ourselves. So many people messaged me when I headed out to an event, panicking about my health and creating a timer for my death when I was non the wiser. In New Zealand at the current time there was 5 cases and in the upper north island. I was still following the precautions and guidelines as I should and it was everyone else in various other countries that was worried about me.

I don’t think that blanketing is helpful but its safe to say at this current time there is a set of rules that all of us should be following.
You may or may not have had restrictions on leaving your home, but all of us have been told to, wash our hands thoroughly, covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze and cough and stay away from those infected. If you have been around someone infected, self isolate yourself until further notice.

It’s also important to get your information from the right sources. I was avidly into politics and trying to save the world when I was around 15. I would watch the news and be waiting for it to start. I wanted to know what was happening in the world at all times and what people wanted to say about it. When I got so unwell I realised that still doing that wasn’t helping and when I got better it was a case of why would I now bring that back into my life? I cut off most television but especially the news and cut down to various and trusted online sources for my information on goings on. I believe in that so strongly now for all cases but even more so in situations like this. It’s terrible the use of scaremongering and false stories that are portrayed. Interviewing random people on the street for opinions on such a topic. Nobody needs to know Brendas opinion on COVID-19 and what she thinks about it, soz Brenda.

It’s hard to not get consumed by worry and fear and that empathetic side of us taking on everyone else too but it’s important to remember that thoughts are just thoughts. Just ideas our brains have thrown at us. Its hard to not get caught up in them but we must realise that getting tangled in our thoughts is leaving us exactly that, tangled and trapped in a web of ideas and thoughts in our heads. Our rational minds go out the window and are taken off by a flurry of seagulls and before we know it were buried in pasta and toilet rolls.

Those above us are monitoring the situation on facts and statistics and sadly we have to put our trust in them which I know can be incredibly hard. If we are following those guidelines as we should and as instructed by our government and health officials of our country anything outside of that is merely wasted. Were panicking because were afraid of illness, were afraid of death and dying but in that we are already wasting a portion of our lives. Yes you may say “well I dont mind wasting a few weeks” but if life is that valuable to you to worry in the first place, why are you wasting it now?

So, how do we get out of our heads?!

Its important to try and focus on the present moment. I know you can sense where this is going, don’t roll your eyes! Now, im actually not going to spend a lot of time banging on about mindfulness as some people just don’t understand it but actually if you’re interested in it and the power of such a thing now really is the time to practice it. A lot of us are stuck at home tapping are feet wondering what to do. Mindfulness is one of the most wonderful things to bring us into the present moment and focus on the now.

If you just cant grasp the thought of mindfulness and giving it a go there are still plenty of things for you to do in the present moment. I know the majority of you will have one of those mental lists or a selection of things that you tell yourself “Oh I wish I had time to do that!” wether it be a hobby or chore. Well, now is your time!

Sadly there will be part of your mind that will desperately be clutching on to fear and encouraging you to scroll through the news or social media but frankly, if your doing all the things you are being told to there is no need to listen to your brain. Sorry brain, move aside!

For me, if I was told to self isolate I would be…well I would still be on here, don’t worry! But actually I would be jumping up and down at the opportunity to start going through all my clothes and having a good sort out! We have just changed seasons so its a good excuse to rummage through your drawers and wardrobe and change those things from summer to winter or vice versa. I would also be spending some time reading all the books I have bought over the last couple of months that are just sat upright and untouched on my bookshelf.

I would also make sure I still took the time to socialise and would be on FaceTime at various points of the day! Its so important to still keep in touch with people and now we have so many ways to do that without leaving the house. Call your friends and use it as a time to take there mind off things too. Laugh, joke and reminisce and get lost in all the ridiculous memories you have.

Some other ideas would be to play a board game or video game if there is a few of you stuck in or start a gratitude journal or scrap book and get crafty!

I also think now is a great time to make some plans which is another thing I will be doing. I think so often we get stuck in almost chugging along and forget our goals. It’s important to take a step back, look at our goals and how we are getting on with them and plan and change accordingly wether that be in your life, health or business! Take some time out before you get stuck back into things.

Its okay to be upset with all thats happening but its not okay to let your brain call the shots. You’re in charge! Follow the guidelines from reputable sources and then fill your brain with good stuff and teach it what is important to you right now!

I must say before I sign off; the worry is definitely heightened for those with weakened immune systems and underlying health conditions but feel this post can still apply to you if dealing with those. Still follow advice on what is happening in your area and guidelines set for you. Just remember the panic and worry in our heads doesn’t effect the outcome of good health for you or those around you!

Look after yourselves team!

Sending you all my love and positivity at this current time.

We got this!

littlestlady

Dont forget to follow me on these social media!

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

See reviews of littlestlady.com