11 May Is Post lockdown causing you anxiety?
Do you remember the time when people were panic buying packs and packs of toilet rolls? just in case we were left short, the restriction in only going out for a hour’s exercise. Watching in horror as the corona virus deaths go up on the news …
And now United Kingdom are starting to ease protocols that were put in place to stop the spread of the virus. Giving people that have been unable to leave their homes and see their families, the chance now to start to explore life. but at the same time being mindful of safety for some people going back out there and mixing with others. brings with it fear, worry and anxiety. Despite vaccines being rolled out, and a decrease in the disease prevalence Scientists are calling this a mental health pandemic – Post COVID-lockdown anxiety
Symptoms of this syndrome mimic those of other mental health conditions, including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). And the pandemic and related factors appear to be the cause.
A paper that appears in Psychiatry ResearchTrusted Source in October 2020, Profs Nikčević and Spada outline the characteristics of COVID-19 anxiety,
naming avoidance, compulsive symptom-checking, worrying, and threat monitoring.
We must not forget that it is a natural response to feel anxious when faced with uncertainty and situations that are beyond our control. A warning sign that you are having difficulties with anxiety is if your thoughts or behaviours have become excessive
According to a study that appears in Frontiers in Psychology, several factors may play a role in whether a person is at risk of Post COVID anxiety
A person’s tolerance to uncertainty, what is described as a perceived vulnerability to COVID-19, and a tendency to worry excessively may contribute to Post COVID anxiety
Research also suggests that people who have a natural inclination toward illness anxiety disorder (hypochondria) — a condition that causes a healthy person to believe they have a serious health condition can be a contributing factor
Working from home, not leaving the house to get to work and being around colleagues has had a huge effect on people’s mental health. Just as people are getting into a routine of working from home, and now with lockdown easing there comes the anxiety of returning to the workplace and how we are going to cope with the new norm, and what will it look like
What we do need to remember is that it is natural for us to worry now and again, but our anxious thoughts can be at times unhelpful
People with OCD tendencies can be more at risk of post COVID anxiety as the COVID -19 concerns exacerbate their health condition for example excess hand washing and spending long periods of time attempting to keep their home sterile from germs
Fears and anxiety associated with the easing of the pandemic can manifest physically and its normal to experience a range of worrying symptoms: including stomach cramps, sweating, headaches, and nausea
A fast pulse can be a common sign of stress, so if your heart keeps racing and you constantly feeling on edge, chances are you are struggling to cope.
Another indicator is feeling excessively tired and irritable, perhaps family members or colleagues have noticed you are snappier. Sleep is often a first sign that worry is taking over. This can be through disturbed sleep and waking up at 3am worrying and not being able to get back to sleep.
Mental and physical health are intricately linked
One of the signs of anxiety include overthinking an excessive rumination
Obsessing about situations or life events is associated with anxiety disorders and depression and can exacerbate these conditions.
While it is normal to be cautious following a major life event, holding yourself back from doing things you would usually do because of amplified fears is a common symptom of post-lockdown anxiety
1.Start to look for the evidence that disconfirms your worrying thoughts. The rate the virus is decreasing, how many have had the vaccine. Seek trusted sources of information
2.If you can learn to identify and separate unhelpful thoughts from helpful ones, you can find a different way of looking at the situation. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a good way of learning strategies that are lifelong skills. Writing the thoughts down can be a way of separating them. I have found it can help to get the anxious thoughts out to then be able to look at them from a different perspective.
3.Shifting your focus to the here and now, not jumping to the future try not to allow those what if thoughts get caught up in the catastrophic thinking whirlwind. Learn Relaxation techniques, Mindfulness, deep breathing to help with you being able to manage anxiety. To find out more about Relaxation techniques go to our website https://Braintrainersuk.co.uk
- Easing back into the new norm. Avoiding the things that make us anxious can sometime feel like the easier option in the short term. But this can make it harder to start facing our fears in the long term. Instead try and set yourself small achievable goals. like meeting one person for a coffee and gradually build up. I use SMART Goals in my practice that I find helps to get achievement and a direction.
- Explain feelings of anxiety to a trusted person to build mutual understanding. This increases confidence and allows others to provide the support needed when venturing outside the home.
If you are wanting to know how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help you. Have a look at our website. Click to view the Home Page of our Website
Email us – info@Braintrainersuk.co.uk and we would be happy to go through how CBT can help Post lockdown anxiety.
Kim and Carrie
+44 (0) 7510 223561 – +44(0) 07549 857216
Covering London & the South East in Person and UK & Europe via Online Services
We cover businesses and organisations across London & the South East. Individual therapy online or face to face all while still providing support for our front-line services working as NHS Mental Health Professionals & the chosen provider for South East Coast Ambulance Service ( SECAMB )
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