CONTACT Counselling Services Psychotherapy & Counselling in Cheltenham & Gloucestershire

COVID-19: from work stress to facemask rage the pandemic is affecting our anxiety levels.

Some helpful tips for self care:


Think short term

Anxiety is completely understandable given the disruption and uncertainty we are facing. What to do:

  • Accept that change is happening and that your emotions are all over the place
  • Try not to let these feelings dominate


  • Tip:

    Live inside a short term future of this week or next week, where life feels relatively secure. Thinking too far ahead will add to your anxiety


    Recognise your triggers

    Snapping at the children, flying off the handle at your partner or feeling on edge with work colleagues has become an almost daily occurence for many since the pandemic. This cocktail of emotions arises when annoyance anger and frustration combine to bubble out of control. The gnawing feeling of irritability is harder to shake off when we are tired or feel overwhelmed. There are recognised triggers for irritability including too little sleep or a long to-do-list.


    Tip:

    Try to recognise when you are most vulnerable to seeing red and use it as a sign to take care of yourself; focus on your breathing (3,5,7 technique), take a 5 minute walk or any other form of self care; write, draw or yoga.


    Let the tears flow

    You may find yourself crying at the most unexpected moments.

    Crying developed because of its evolutionary function to help us to survive. As human beings it is one of the earliest things we learn to do to de-stress in our lives. In adulthood it becomes socially unacceptable to do?


    Tip:

    A bout of crying on its own is a healthy release. However, if you find yourself crying all the time to the point you feel worthless, contact your GP.


    Give way to grief

    A sense that the world is changing produces a gamut of emotions that culminate in grief. Grief is more than grieving for the loved ones we have lost through Coronavirus. We are also grieving for the lives we have left behind and for what might have been.


    Tip:

    It is helpful to remind ourselves that the loss of "normality" is temporary. Talking about your "grief" with others helps you to progress towards accepting the situation. Allow some time to think what you have learnt about yourself and your ability to cope and to adapt to the current situation.


    Try a new routine

    You are not alone if you are feeling frustrated by everything and everyone at the moment. We are living in a frustrating situation! If watching the news is a trigger for feelings or frustration then limit how often you listen to the news.


    Tip:

    Give structure to daily life: get up at the same time and go to bed at the same time each day (including the weekend). Go for a walk every day. Plan what you will eat and when. Whatever routine works for you.


    Don't feel guilty

    A lot of people feel guilty that they actually enjoy working from home and feel embarrassed about some of the changes COVID-19 has brought about e.g. more time to see/speak with our partner and children, lower pollution, making us stop to think what is important.


    Tip:

    If you feel happy about something let that be the overriding feeling you choose. You don't have to choose to feel guilty. You still have choices!

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    COVID-19: self care. talk therapy

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