Tips for dealing with stress and anxiety

Fears about COVID-19 can take an emotional toll and it’s understandable you might begin to feel increasingly stressed during these unsettling times.

It is important to remember it is OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently. This situation is temporary and, for most of us, these difficult feelings will pass.

There are some simple things you can do to manage any stress or anxiety you may be experiencing, which will help make sure you look after yourself and those you care about.

Talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling

Just talking to a trusted person about how you feel can take a weight off your shoulders. Make sure you trust the person, then work out what you want to say to them. Sharing your concerns with others may also help them too.

 

Focus on the present

Have you ever noticed that feeling stressed or anxious often coincides with dwelling on the past or worrying about the future? Simply focusing on the present moment can help you feel a little more relaxed. Relaxation techniques can also help. You could try mindful breathing or meditation apps including Smiling Mind, headspace (currently offering a free subscription​), calm and Stop, Breathe and Think.

 

Monitor your thoughts

Acknowledging your feelings can help you cope in a healthy way. Sometimes we don’t even know what’s making us stressed or anxious. Writing down your thoughts can help you figure out what the cause is. Once you’ve done that, you can work on challenging and changing any negative thoughts. Try to focus on what you are grateful for, not wish you could change.

 

Help others (it will make you feel better)

Helping someone else can benefit you as well as them, so try to be a little more understanding of other people’s concerns, worries or behaviours at this time. Please consider official coronavirus guidance to keep everyone safe.

 

Look after your body

It is well known that exercise lowers stress, reduces anxiety and improves mood. And the good news is: you don’t need to run a marathon to reap the benefits. It takes just 30 minutes of exercise a day to make a difference.

Diet and sleep are also really important for your wellbeing. A healthy diet will make you feel healthier and stronger and make you able to handle stress better, while enough sleep positively affects your mood and stress levels.

 

Be kind to yourself

Go easy on yourself if you’re experiencing more anxiety than usual. You’re not alone in your struggles.