As you know, outside of this being a book blog, I also like to discuss Mental Health to try and help as many people as I can. In light of recent events, I thought now was a perfect time to try and help those of you who might be struggling.
Having Anxiety at the best of times is incredibly hard but during a pandemic as country after country declares national emergencies, newspapers are full of devastating stories and scary statistics and social media is filled with videos, its even harder.
There are numerous ways your mental health might be affected, and I truly believe this is a time that many people who have never dealt with mental health issues will come to understand what its like to a degree. Many people will suffer during these moments, many people will feel isolated and alone but please remember whilst we are in a dark and scary time, you are not alone. We are all in this together.
It can especially be hard for those who don’t have supportive family members as they will be on lock down with them for a long time. It can be daunting and particularly scary as no end seems in sight.
Here are some tips on how you can help manage your anxiety:
- Practice Self Care
Self Care is extremely important. No matter who you are, you need to make sure you are scheduling time in for yourself. There are several things you can do for yourself, something as simple as taking a bath, watching your favourite movie, taking a nap or just going for a short walk. Many of us are on lock down and are only permitted to leave our house for 1 form of exercise a day, so a walk allows us time to step away from the confines of our home.
- Explore Counselling Services
Many people are struggling as counselling services become busier and busier, so they are unable to access the support they usually do. If you are in this situation then there are a variety of numbers, websites and apps you could download and try outside of your regular medical support. Try looking up services ran by The Samaritans, NHS Mental Health, Mind to name but a few.
If your therapist is busy and unable to give you talking therapy then one way to overcome the overwhelming feelings of anxiety is to write yourself a letter. Get all your feelings down on a piece of paper, let them escape you so you aren’t bottling them up. Or even write yourself a love letter, what do you love about yourself, what are you grateful for. In those moments of despair, you can read this letter and know you have hit a bump in the road but you will overcome it.
- Avoid Social Media and Try a NEW Hobby!
Its easier said than done I know, but try to avoid constantly checking on your social media. Of course keep communicating with your friends and family but its very easy to lose ourselves in Instagram, staring at the beautiful people we wish we could be. Now is the perfect time to find a new hobby. Reading will allow you to escape from your anxiety and imagine yourself in another world. Try to avoid books which may trigger your anxiety and instead opt for something perhaps like a fantasy, which would allow you to fully escape the world we are in right now.
If you don’t like reading, try writing a story, painting or learning a new language!
If you have any questions or you would like recommendations on books, please comment below. I would love to help you in any way I can.