Ways to get through lockdown and keep your sanity
During lockdown, many of us are finding ourselves experiencing insomnia, stress and anxiety due to the coronavirus pandemic having a negative effect on our mental health. Constant media coverage showing people suffering and social distancing all contribute to feelings of unease. We are unable to live our lives as we are used to and find ourselves being plunged into isolation.
Our lives have been turned upside down and our routines changed almost overnight. Many of us have suffered losses during this time whether it be a loved one, a job or our daily routine causing us to suffer with anxiety.
How does anxiety feel?
Mentally, anxiety can make you feel tearful, angry, unmotivated, tired and unable to make the right decisions. Physically, anxiety can give you upset stomachs causing digestion problems, headaches, palpitations and muscle aches and pains amongst many other unpleasant problems.
Although we cannot control what is going on in the world during this time, we can take control of the way we are feeling by taking more control of our emotions.
How do I do this?
Start the day by thinking about the good things that you will be looking forward to that day. They can be small things like watching something you like on television, going for a walk or talking to a friend on the phone. At bedtime, get into the habit of writing down three positive things that have happened that day, again they can be just small things.
Many studies have shown that journaling is an effective tool for stress and anxiety management. It is simple and effective as well as an enjoyable technique. This will enable you to shift the focus from your anxiety and make you feel better and more positive.
Challenge your thoughts, start by writing down your fear and ask yourself, is this likely to happen? Are you sure? Challenging your fears can help you relieve your anxiety and help you see that things are far less likely to happen than you think they are.
Go outside for a walk or do some exercise, it has been proven that being outside among nature can have a huge positive impact on our well-being as well as strengthening our immune system, making us less susceptible to picking up illnesses. Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises can be easily learned and practised on a daily basis and will greatly benefit the effects of anxiety.
Try to avoid too much social media. Although it is important to keep up with the latest updates, continually watching the news can make your anxiety worse. Try and keep to a daily routine and get up at the same time every day.
Following a healthy, nutritious diet is important to strengthen your immune system and fight Coronavirus. Try to avoid alcohol and sugary food and drinks as these foods can weaken your immune system making you more susceptible to illnesses. Most of us love to start the day with a cup of coffee but caffeine is one of the most common contributors to increased levels of anxiety.
How can hypnotherapy help?
Hypnotherapy is extremely beneficial in treating anxiety and stress-related issues. By using the power of suggestion to the subconscious mind, you are able to make positive changes.
During a guided deep relaxation, you will be in a better position to respond to suggestions and make the positive changes and behaviours you are looking to make. Whilst in this relaxed state, your subconscious mind is open and more able to accept these positive suggestions.
We might not realise it but the subconscious mind works automatically, continually throughout the day. Whilst in this relaxed state of hypnotherapy, we can tune into the subconscious mind. The aim is to break the negative responses and thought patterns relating to stress and anxiety by changing them to more healthy responses.
This is how hypnotherapy helped one of my clients, Kelly, with panic and anxiety:
After years of having severe anxiety and panic attacks that affected all aspects of her life, Kelly wanted to change the way she was feeling, so she tried hypnotherapy.
After one session, her panic attacks were no longer present and, after six sessions, she felt calmer, more relaxed, alert and that the anxiety had gone. This has enabled her to do things that her anxiety and panic attacks had been holding her back from doing.