I began writing this article with two issues in mind. Namely, stress and anxiety. Both are highly relevant to our current times which are Covid times.
As a therapist I tend to break down the meaning and background of each issue a client presents, for them to understand possible reasons behind why they feel the way they do, and to find resources or tools to manage them. Understanding oneself goes a long way to dealing more effectively with an issue causing concern.
Was there a time when stress or anxiety did not figure in your life? If so, how did you manage your life then? Usually, clients will speak of stress but when did this develop into anxiety?
A good way to reducing stress is to look at the following.
Owning the past and current situation with the emphasis on, this is where I am now so what can I realistically do about it? Often the answer is, I cannot do anything. Would treading water be applicable to current times? Many of us have lost direction, as that direction it appears for the immediate future is no longer feasible. Does creature of habit ring a bell, and those taken for granted habits been taken away? Okay so for the moment treading water is a probable answer to be given when asked, no point getting stressed over something which may or may not return one day, and if it does it might appear in a completely different form.
Does treading water for now imply forever? Anxiety would answer a resounding yes, anxiety loves to catastrophize, it plays on our fears and stresses, below are some typical anxiety fears.
- Covid it odourless how do I know if I am in contact with someone who has covid?
- Being at home for so long the outside world has turned into a scary place
- I trust me, but can I trust others?
- Better to stay at home and stay safe
- I have or have had a life-threatening illness, I need to stay safe, the outside world is not safe
This is where owning your present is important to those of you experiencing anxiety symptoms related to Covid.
- Have I put in place all I can do to keep myself protected when outside?
- If I wish to go out but my anxiety is preventing this from happening, what small steps can I put in place, what can I say to myself each day which will give me confidence to take those first steps?
- I can never trust others to do the right thing, this means I will need to develop choices, I choose where I go and with whom
- If staying at home is a choice then fine, however if fear and anxiety is keeping me a prisoner in my own home, I am not in control, small steps to take back control
- Any environment where many people are meeting would be a concern with those who have or have had a life-threatening illness, but only you know what you are capable of, use your good judgment going forward. Try asking what my goals are, and work on them.
Going forward I welcome readers to put forward suggestions anonymously of topics they would like to be discussed in more detail.