Top five ways to beat anxiety during COVID-19

2.6 million adults in Great Britain reported feeling lonely “often” or “always” between 3rd April and 3rd May this year according to research by the Office for National Statistics.

Feelings of loneliness among older people can result in deterioration of health, heightening blood pressure and weakening the immune system. According to a review by Age UK, the resulting poor health can cause anxiety and diseases like Alzheimer’s.

As it’s Action For Happiness’s Self-Care September, what better time to look at strategies to stay on top of our mental health and wellbeing.

Here are our top five ways to keep stress and anxiety at bay:

1. Reach out to someone

Are you feeling anxious? Ring somebody for a chat. A brief conversation can make a world of difference. Have you considered owning a pet? Pet owners (any pet, not just cats and dogs) have a lower risk of suffering from depression than those without. The National Health Service has an A-Z of services that you can connect to. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/

If you’re a member of a Men’s Shed why not reach out to your Shed Leader for a natter, if you’re not a member of a Men’s Shed perhaps it’s time you joined up! https://menssheds.org.uk/find-a-shed/

2. Take care of yourself:

  • eat regular meals 
  • engage in regular mild exercise 
  • get enough sleep 
  • keep up good hygiene
  • If you’re on ‘meds’ stay diligent in taking them
  • Keep comfort foods down to a minimum

3. Pay attention to your feelings and thoughts

Journal your feelings where you can. Accept that you will have ‘up’ days and ‘down’ days and try not to judge yourself too harshly for feeling anxious or having an unproductive day. 

4. Watch your internet consumption

It’s smart to be mindful and take frequent breaks, from ‘smart’ devices. News and social media often play a big part in increasing stress and anxiety. Reducing time spent on these things may be just what you need to stop yourself from feeling emotionally drained.

5. Read a book

Reading apparently has the effect of lowering your blood pressure and relaxing tense muscles. Lose yourself in a good read to keep the blues away.

What are you doing to keep yourself anxiety free? Let us know. newsletter@ukmsa.org.uk