By Sarah Lewis, C.Psychol., Appreciating Change
While we are still cooped up at home, with the virus threat and the lockdown continuing, many are feeling much more anxious than usual. It’s easy for this to become a downward cycle of worry, lethargy and depression.
Sadly, the threat is real, and we can’t make it go away. What we can do is boost our resilience as individuals, finding ways to keep our spirits up and also those of everyone in the family. I got this amazing cbd oil for sale that has helped my whole family to deal with anxiety.
What can you do to alleviate anxiety? Here are some tips.
Being a long-term project
Starting projects suggests an optimism about the future that becomes self-reinforcing. Uncertainty can act to paralyse us. By pro-actively starting a project we can break out of that paralysis. The hardest part is getting started, but once you do it will draw you forward. Every evening I can admire the two square inches I’ve completed in my new tapestry project. It good to feel I’m making progress. What might you or your loved ones start doing?
Count your blessings
The new science of positive psychology has proved the benefits of counting your blessings. There is an exercise known as the ‘three good things’. At the end of each day, identify three good things that have happened during the day. It’s good practice to write them down. Doing this regularly helps train your brain to look for the positives and find the silver lining.
You can find lots of similar proven exercises in Vanessa Keys excellent book: 10 keys to happier living.
Managing news feeds
Following the news minute-by-minute, 24/7, is not likely to do you or your family any good. You can’t influence things other than by taking the sensible precautions we’ve all been told about. So, take positive control and limit your daily diet. You might choose to read rather than watch the news. One benefit of this is that there is less ‘emotional contagion’ from the written word than from a person’s voice, so less transmission of anxiety.
What we want to do is replace anxiety with optimism. Two great science-based resources with ideas about how to do this are ‘Happy Brain Science’s Happiness at Work’ game and ‘Positran’s Positive Action Cards’ to help you improve your wellbeing.
If you need it, have a worry half-hour
Some of us are born worriers; suggestions of optimism only increase anxiety. If you are someone who finds worrying reassuring, try to limit it so it doesn’t become overwhelming. A time-honoured technique is ‘allowing’ yourself a specific allotted time to worry as much as you like. Put say, 20-30 minutes in your diary. During this appointment name all your business and personal worries. Record them in a journal if you like. Allocating this time, should reduce the likelihood of waking to worry at 1am.
Find your flow state
We need to find things that take us out of ourselves. When we are completely absorbed in things we are in a state of ‘flow’ and when we are in this state, we are not focused on our feelings. It’s like getting a holiday from your worried self.
For me writing and gardening offer me productive escape time. Sometimes it’s hard to get going, but once you’ve started to apply yourself, time falls away as you get into a ‘flow state’.
Eat well and exercise
Make sure you eat healthily. Lots of fruit and vegetables are good for immune system. Exercise is very important to both mental and physical health. You know the rules about keeping your distance. Put your face mask on and yomp for an hour somewhere green. Alternatively you could try the Joe Wicks ‘Seven days of sweat’ workout online. As the name suggests it is hard work but a lot of fun too.
If you are feeling really stuck you may need a more structured approach to pull yourself out of the mire. Sometimes we just need to be asked a question that gives us a different take on the subject or causes us to make a new connection. You may already have a coach to help, but if not, people often self-coach. Self-coaching helps move you into a more productive self-talk, that allows you find unexpected ways forward.
‘At My Best’ offer an excellent selection of forty-eight coaching questions in their ‘Good Question Card’ pack. Alternatively, there is a set of six Coaching Cubes with thirty-six questions, based on the PRISM coaching model, that you roll like dice – which adds some randomness and fun.
Call a friend
Social contact also is very important to our wellbeing. It is good to call at least one person a day, so you are in contact with people outside your immediate family. However, I suggest you also ask them about their plans for the day, what they are hoping to achieve during this period of lockdown. In other words, try to help them see a silver lining.
Appreciate what makes life worth living
We have almost come full circle. Appreciative Living, based on Appreciative Inquiry, is all about seeing and seeking out the best of life. Despite everything, we can still appreciate the things that make life worth living, today. Developing an appreciative eye takes practice and isn’t always easy, but the benefit to our health, well-being, state of mind and ability to remain pro-active in the face of threat, in fact to our resilience, is beyond question. Stay safe, and start living appreciatively at the same time.
In the current circumstance you need to focus on looking after your physical and mental health and your family’s. I hope these tips will help you now and also build you and your children’s resilience for the long term.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Sarah Lewis C.Psychol., is the principal psychologist at Appreciating Change, a strengths-based psychological consultancy that is committed to applying well-researched positive psychology ideas and interventions to workplace challenges and opportunities at an individual, team or whole organization level.
Sarah is an associated fellow of the British Psychological Society, a principal member of the Association of Business Psychologists, and a member of the International Positive Psychology Association.
Sarah is an acknowledged Appreciative Inquiry and Positive Psychology expert, a regular conference presenter and author of ‘Positive Psychology at Work’ (Wiley), Positive Psychology and Change (Wiley), ‘Appreciative Inquiry for Change Management’ (KoganPage) and Positive Psychology in Business (Pavilion).
She also collects great positive psychology resources to support consultants, trainers and coaches in their work which are sold through the Positive Psychology online shop. https://www.thepositivepsychologyshop.com/