5 ways to take the edge off isolation-induced anxiety
With the world in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s no surprise that many of us are experiencing increased levels of stress and anxiety. Whether you find yourself overthinking everything, relentlessly feeling on edge, or even suffering with panic attacks, we hope these five simple recommendations might help.
FOCUS THE MIND
When you’re feeling anxious, it can be difficult to quieten down the monkey mind. According to recent studies, creative practices, such as colouring, painting and putting together a jigsaw puzzle can increase mindfulness and help you to manage difficult feelings. By forcing the mind into a state of concentration, whirling thoughts are suppressed, leaving a calming effect on the mind and body. If you don’t have access to a physical colouring book or jigsaw, there are plenty of digital options available such as jigsawplanet.com or the colour by numbers app Happy Color which provide hundreds of puzzles and colouring options to help keep your mind occupied. It may also be worth considering investing in some art supplies – there are plenty of exciting options on amazon.
STICK TO A ROUTINE
As the saying goes, ‘control what you can, let go of what you cannot’. A change of routine often brings about a sense of instability that can give rise to anxiety, so make sure you’re keeping yourself occupied. Create a timetable that you follow each week, which should even include what you enjoy doing in your spare time. Yes, this might sound strict (and even tedious), but it will allow you to maintain a structure while in isolation.
A LITTLE HELP FROM A NATURAL AID
Recent studies have shown that there is a clear link between stress and sleep, with 73 per cent of people reporting that they experience stress followed by a restless night at least once a week (and that was pre-corona). RESCUE® Remedy products are a blend of five BachTM Original Flower Remedies that can be used anytime, anywhere to help you feel calm and achieve greater emotional balance. If your day has you feeling overwhelmed, then RESCUE® Remedy products could help you relax and focus, leading to a more restful night’s sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed the next day. Tip: Don’t forget to turn off all tech distractions before bed either.
LIMIT YOUR CAFFEINE INTAKE
It may be tempting to down an espresso in the morning to get you going and top-up energy levels throughout the day with a cup of joe here and there, but caffeine can exacerbate anxiety – and even cause panic attacks. Try instead to stick to nourishing vegetable-based juices in the morning or green tea, and keep yourself regularly hydrated with plenty of water. Not to mention coffee can also have a negative impact on your sleep. If you really are a coffee connoisseur, simply cut back on your consumption by 50% and make sure that your last cup is 12 hours before you go to bed.
Giving your thoughts space to breathe is an important step in helping to reduce anxiety. By getting worries out of your head and onto paper through journaling, you are allowing negative thoughts to physically escape from the mind. It can also help you to reflect on and process your anxieties, challenging them head on. If anxiety hits at night, try doing a ‘brain dump’ just before bed whereby you list down everything you’re thinking about, then make a to-do list of what you need to do tomorrow. In doing this you are creating headspace and allowing the mind to offload. If you’re not familiar with journaling, we suggest trying out The Positive Wellness Journal by Alison McDowell and Claire Finn-Prevett, which is packed full of engaging tools and exercises which subtly encourage you to pay closer attention to yourself and your unique needs.