There is no denying that Covid-19 has created a generalised sense of unrest that can have an impact on our emotional and mental health. It’s easy to feel anxious, scared, panicky and to experience many other different and unpleasant emotions. It is important to remember we haven’t previously experienced a pandemic in this way, so, most of us, don’t have a establish mental framework on how to deal with it. This can make us feel disorientated, lost and afraid. Our sleep patterns can be disturbed, we might become overly worried about our friends and family or we might be unable to disengage from the news and the constant bombarding of negative information.
This is what you can do to help yourself:
- Identify distressing thoughts: to think constantly about the illness can create a heightened level of stress. Look after your mental health by allowing your thoughts to focus on something else.
- Recognise and acknowledge your emotions: share how you feel with your loved ones, don’t hide it or repress it. It is OK to feel what you feel. It is OK, not to be OK.
- Practice mindfulness and breathing exercises: If you have never tried mindfulness before, this might just be the perfect time. It is a simple as focusing on your breathing, inhaling and exhaling with awareness. As you do this, your body, mind, and nervous system will start relaxing, the more your do it, the greater the benefits.
- Look for actual verifiable information: avoid information that is not official or scientifically based. Look for facts.
- Avoid being overtly informed: being constantly connected to Covid-19 will not necessarily mean you are better informed and it might increase the feelings of fear and panic.
- Be realistic: do not overemphasise or understate the risk, particularly if you belong to the sector of the population that might be at a higher risk.
- If you are in isolation: remember that uncomfortable emotions can raise when spending a lot of time alone, this is normal. You might feel lonely, frustrated, angry, scare, fearful or anxious. Try to keep your mind distracted and use technology to connect with your loved ones.
- Keep up a routine: and use this time to do what you normally love doing and never have time to tackle.
- If you are ill: again, monitor what you are thinking to ensure your thoughts are being realistic, don’t let the mind to ride a wave of fear and ensure you keep connected to people.
Self-care is one of the most important things we can practice right now, having baths and listening to relaxing music is very helpful, however, there are occasions in which we need to go beyond and ensure we can have mental discipline to filter information that harm us, together with embracing, holding and acknowledging everything we feel. I would like to encourage you, to take a step forward in looking after yourself.
About the author: Lucia Garcia is a Counsellor, Hypnotherapist, and Reiki Master Teacher with several years of experience. She is based in North East London, where she see clients. If you are interested in learning more about her work or getting some help, contact her on: