Stress and Anxiety

What can we do when we feel stressed or anxious? This post suggests how we can start to identify what’s making us feel this way and how to channel our energy into proactively beginning to address this.

It’s important to note that there’s a huge range of different levels of stress and anxiety felt by people – the ideas below are directed at moderate to low level feelings of stress and anxiety, if we are severely stressed, professional help may be required.

IDENTIFY YOUR TRIGGERS

Work out what your specific triggers are and this may help you think of ways to manage them. Sort your worries into those that you can do something about and those that are not in your immediate control. Be realistic.

List your accomplishments

Make a list of the things you have to/want to do and target these. Accomplishing them can give you a sense of control and order. List what you have achieved at the end of each day.

Create structure

Add structure to your day by blocking out time for the different aspects in your life – family, work, exercise, down time etc. – top and tail your day with a routine that is familiar and enjoyable for you.

Be active

In whichever way this looks like for you – yoga, walking, cycling, HITT training… activity and movement can help your physical and mental health – many people find it can offer a sense of calm, accomplishment and even provide an opportunity to see worries and stressors in a new perspective.

Stay connected

Talk, check in, and remain socially active. Social connections are important to us and quality (e.g. a 1:1 chat), rather than quantity (e.g. sending out multiple group messages) may have more value and meaning to both you and others involved.

If you have a trusted someone to share a worry or your mood with, then they may be able to offer you a different perspective on your problem or simply a welcome ear to listen.

Be kind to yourself

Accept that anxiety and stress are normal emotions to be experiencing at any given time, and even more so in this time of uncertainty and huge change we are all currently facing. Make some time to do something that you like to do and enjoy having that time and space set aside for yourself.  

Links to Explore

Greater Good Science Centre – UC Berkeley

Dealing with Cabin Fever Lea Waters – The Guardian

How to Use Your Time Productively Lea Waters – The Guardian

How to Help Others Lea Waters – The Guardian

New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience – Real Time Resilience Coping During Covid-19

Overcome Negative Thoughts and Stress in Uncertain Times – Happify; free audio tracks

Strategies to Survive Uncertain Times – free webinars PENN MAPP Alumni

VIA Institute on Character – Strength Based Covid-19 Resources

101 Strengths Based Actions to Connect, From a Safe Distance – Dr. Tayyab Rashid

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