Mindful tips for post lockdown anxiety
Lovely Ruth from ALL FM asked me offer some support to her listeners for this post lockdown time of transition. If you'd like to listen instead of read you can hear the replay of the show here.
And if you'd like some more support with life after lockdown you might benefit from my Emerge workshop. Use code lovelyhuman for 10% off as a thank you for reading my blog.
MINDFUL TIPS FOR POST LOCKDOWN (OR ANY KIND REALLY) ANXIETY:
Compassion is the acknowledgement of suffering and the desire to remove or reduce it; it is called a ‘soft skill’ but that doesn’t make it easy. Compassion requires courage and wisdom.
Treating yourself and others with kindness will make going through a difficult time that bit more bearable. Compassion is saying to yourself “hey, this is hard and I’m feeling anxious. That’s OK. I’m going to take it one step at a time and know that I’m doing the best I can.”
Anxiety is part of life. That doesn’t mean we have to be completely overwhelmed or struggling all the time but it also doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. It’s totally normal to feel worried or afraid when there is a threat to your safety or during times of change. It’s not always about ‘getting rid’ of anxiety but finding ways to manage and soothe it so you can do what you need to do. Allow yourself to feel what you feel and accept others for where they’re at too. Move through this experience at your own pace.
3. Wisdom fear vs panic fear – know the difference.
Fear is a mental and physical reaction designed to keep us safe. It’s actually a good thing. However, we don’t want to let fear or anxiety overwhelm us or get in the way of living our lives. Panic fear is bulk buying stuff you don’t need/never leaving the house (if you are healthy and able to do so). Wisdom fear is washing your hands, managing risk, having perspective, taking time to respond instead of react.
4. Talk about it (or write/sing/dance)
This is the perfect time to open up to others if you normally find that difficult. Everyone is going through this – though we’re all having different experiences – so it’s quite easy to start a conversation about how you’re finding it. Talk to a family member or friend you trust, or speak to a counsellor. You can also express yourself through journaling, creative activity, singing or dancing. Whatever works for you – just don’t keep it locked inside!
5. Prioritise self-care/relaxation
When the going gets tough, the tough (and by that I mean resilient) practice extra self care. This can be bubble baths and candles if you like but self care means much more than that – it’s anything that helps you feel calm, grounded, at ease or happy and doesn’t have any negative consequences. The more difficulty or stress we face, the more we need to look after ourselves, so don’t forget to schedule this in to your day. Even 5 or 10 minutes of something you enjoy can make a difference.
6. Stay present
When we’re facing the unknown it’s easy to get swept up in worry thoughts, the kind that usually start with “what if…” and end in catastrophe. When you notice this happening, take a mental step back and acknowledge this as ‘anxious thinking’ without judgement. Return to the present moment – what is actually happening in the here and now – by focusing on your breath, your feet on the floor or something you can see or hear.
7. Recharge in nature
Spending time in nature is proven to help us think better, feel calmer and even boost our immune systems. Take a walk on your lunch break or at the end of the day to help you unwind. Use this time to be mindful and pay attention to shapes, colours, sounds, textures and smells. Slow down and notice the natural beauty around you – you don’t have to go far, just you local park will do.
I hope these tips help you stay present and calm (or as much as possible) during this weird time.
Take good care.