Now that we are a few weeks into this global pandemic, it is probable that you have developed a pattern of listening to news updates as well as receiving endless information updates through a number of social media channels. And the impact of all this may well be increasing your level of anxiety and leading you to feel a sense of panic at times. So here is some practical advice for managing your level of anxiety by following the 5 steps below:

1. Decide to have a set time every day for news updates so you limit your exposure to the subject of corona virus. The more time you spend focusing on the current crisis, the more you are likely to think about negative aspects and feel increasingly worried,
imagining various scenarios. So try not to do this and minimise the amount of your day that you spend tuning into corona virus news. The benefits to your mind will be significant as you provide freedom in which to focus on other things that may be
distracting as well as interesting.

2. Think about a daily structure that you can follow. This may help you to manage your time wisely and to avoid the overwhelming feeling of “too much time.” Create a list of priorities for each day and choose a selection, so that you don’t set yourself up with
unrealistic targets.

3. Reward yourself for whatever you achieve in a day by “ticking” items off a list. Avoid berating yourself for not doing enough and instead, always be willing to acknowledge what you have done. Learn from each day so that you carry this wisdom with you
into the next day and see difficulties as opportunities to find insights and improve.

4. Find balance in daily life:

Food – make sure that you feed your body with healthy meals and try to limit sugary food to the end of a meal

Alcohol – remember healthy guidelines are 14 units a week, so be mindful of the tendency to drink more as result of being at home more

Movement – try to avoid sitting down for long periods. If you have stairs in your home, use these more often and get up to switch tv channels rather than using a remote. If possible, go outside to take a short walk everyday.

Sleep – maintain a regular pattern and even if you are not sleeping, relax as part of this routine. You might find it helpful to listen to use meditation or mindfulness as a relaxation method

Socialising – connect with friends and family in a thoughtful way so that you have some control over your time rather than having your time monopolised by group chats for example. Choose when is “your time for you” and when is “your time for
friends and family.”

5. Focus on what is ahead when life returns to normal again and think about what you would like to have happen. Allow time to either visualise, draw or write about your desires and hopes in the future.

With acceptance of what is outside of your control at the moment, you may find it comforting to follow these steps and learn to exercise personal choice over what you “can” control on the inside of your life at home. Please contact The Hove Counselling Practice, if you would like online support in doing this.