Hi everyone, I know this is a very different post for Just Another Film Blog, but we are currently dealing with a global pandemic and for most of us this is an anxious time. If you like me are feeling anxious currently, there are things we can do to cope a little better. I've spoken to my friend who is an NHS assistant phycologist and we have put this post together to help you manage anxiety with Covid-19. Over the next few week's I will also be sharing movie and TV show suggestions with you because escaping into a good film can really help. Please read on for some advice and techniques to help.
Please give this a share because we never know who might be struggling and the advice in this post may help.
Introduce activities to help you relax and reduce anxiety/worry. Activities could include: A home workout, having a bath (or just a facemask), cooking, cleaning, organising, watching TV, DIY and art projects (I love painting pots), anything that you enjoy and find relaxing.
Most of us are used to having a weekday routine - whether that be going to work or school or even getting up at a particular time to start your day. If you are now working from home, in self-isolation, or home-schooling try and create a routine or a plan for each day. Allow yourself breaks, have a lunch break and be more flexible with activities such as watching the TV and household activities. If you are working from home, it's okay to walk away from your computer at times, its okay to take a few minutes to make a drink - these are things you would normally do in the workplace.
For some social media is highly important in keeping connected with family/friends/vulnerable people. But it can also be a source of worry. Consider whether it might be better to reduce social media use, perhaps by time (10 minutes at a time) or by time of day (so during breaks). It might also be an idea to turn off or on your screen time limit depending on how you feel. Also, if the news is a trigger it may be worth only watching the news at one time of day rather than having the news on all day.
Exercise helps to manage anxiety and releases some of the anxious energy. YouTube has loads of workouts you can do at home - search for home workouts or yoga or dance, any type of home exercise you enjoy. You can even put the radio on and have a dance party (this always helps me). It's also important to follow the government guidelines, currently it is okay to go outside, fresh air is good for the mind and if you are able to, go for walks, jogs or runs - just remember to social distance.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, you can try altering your bodies emotional state with physical sensation. Temperature - splash cold water on your face, Exercise - intensely exercise for 20 second bursts, Breathing - try inhaling, pausing and exhaling for 2 seconds each, then 3, then 4 etc. Muscle relaxation - working form your feet upwards tense each muscle individually for 10 seconds and release. These activities work by altering the body physically to move away from intense anxiety/worry.
If you have existing mental health problems reach out to your support network and professional if you have one. If these feelings are new reach out to people that you find supportive. Many people are feeling the same way and talking to people can make you feel less alone. If you don't feel that you have support you can text the service SHOUT for free from most UK mobiles, check out their website for more information: giveusashout.org.
Give Yourself a Space to Worry:
It's natural and normal to worry, particularly in a time of crisis. You could consider planning small time frames where you allow yourself to worry, or use a form of expression (e.g. writing, art, talking) to let out these feelings and thoughts. Doing this can help contain worry so that it does not feel all consuming all of the time.
Along with the advice in this post make sure to keep up to date with the governments guidelines and make sure to social distance. I will be sharing posts over the next few weeks with tones of watchlist suggestions. Remember you are not alone.
I want to say a big thank you to my friend for making this post possible and to all of the NHS staff working hard to get us through this.
Thank you for reading, please share this with the people you know and take care xx