As our time in lockdown stretches on, we are finding it hard to keep our minds calm and on the right track. We are out of our comfort zones without normal routines and physical contact with others, and struggling to keep up with the news cycle’s ups and downs.
It can be difficult to manage our mental health as we face our anxieties around illness, jobs, finances and isolation, and perhaps just general feelings of being constantly overwhelmed by everything going on. We might tell ourselves that it is totally understandable, but we also might feel like anxiety is taking over and pulling us into a negative spiral.
In that space, it can feel harder to do anything positive – we might not eat as well as we’d like, sleep as well, or exercise as well perhaps. We might ‘beat ourselves up’ about not achieving what we should be, or find it hard to stick to any kind of routine.
However, each of these things will likely lead us into feeling more and more negative. It starts to feel as though things are changing at an alarming pace, and we are unable to control anything around us.
What we need to remind ourselves is that change is inevitable, at all times in our life. It is going to happen whether we are present with it, or not. What we need is to find tools to help manage it, help accept it, and understand what we can (and can’t) do about it. We have to learn to look at things in a different way. There are always things that we CAN control, and we can learn to isolate those from the things that we can’t.
One way to do this might be to search for ways to be grateful – can you find three things each day to be thankful for? They can be simple things: it was sunny today, I changed my bed, someone rang to see how I was, I got some flour…..
These things may be simple, but can form part of retraining yourself to find a more positive mindset despite the difficult situation we are in.
We’ve also found a really helpful tool is to try and shift our mindsets and put a positive spin on those things that we are finding particularly difficult at the moment. For us, they have definitely helped us to feel a little less anxious, and a lot more in control.
We hope you find it helpful too – here are our mindset shifts that we are using at the moment to help us feel less anxious.
Once you have looked at these, try and reflect on how you feel now. Do you feel as if you are more in control of your feelings, and are they a little more positive? Perhaps you can try this approach in response to the particular things that you might be feeling anxious about at the moment. Even taking ten minutes to write those down and think about how to shift your mindset can be a positive action in itself. We’d love to hear some of your own mindset shifts – do let us know!