Three little things

Tracey Thomas  March 25th 2020

Over the last two weeks most of us have spent a lot of time hearing, thinking and talking about our worldwide, local and individual response to COVID-19. It can be anxiety provoking for many, for all sorts of different reasons and in all sorts of different ways. With social distancing and “stay at home” can come the feeling of having to face this either alone, or at least without our usual resources.

If you want to lower your own anxiety here are three little ideas for things that you can do to help.

Focus on gratitude.

Make a list of what you have that you are especially grateful for just now. This might be having radish seeds to grow in your window box, a neighbour who has offered to fetch your shopping if you need to stay at home or the fact that your parents have Skype on their tablet and you can have regular chats with them. Focusing on the good things that you do have can help the challenges seem more manageable.

Stay in the present

The human mind is really good at imagining disasters that haven’t happened yet and we can accidentally end up facing more and larger challenges in our imagination than we actually need to handle just now. It’s helpful to plan for the future and take some practical steps to be prepared. However, we are often overwhelmed when we try to solve tomorrow’s imagined problems today. If we just try to solve today’s challenges we stand a much better chance of success, calm and happiness. So focus on what it is that you need for today and give your energy to that.

Michelle Seabrook has written a blog which covers a number of helpful practical responses to the situation.

Help someone else.

One of the best ways to reduce our own feelings of helplessness is to help someone else. Can you offer to pick up your neighbour’s prescriptions? If you are self isolating at home, can you entertain your grandchildren by playing “Frustration!” with them over Zoom? Is there a volunteer organisation in your area where you can help?

These are just three little ideas but I hope that they will lead you to have a lot more.