Antidotes to Fear, Overwhelm and 'Coronavirus Anxiety'
Now more than ever we need to arm ourselves with antidotes to fear, in order to stay as vital and healthy as possible, to not only help ourselves and others, but also to play our part in ultimately reducing the strain on the NHS.
With everything that’s going on, it is a real comfort to know that we are all facing this challenge together, but I’m very aware that the current collective emotional state is one of overwhelm and fear; fear of getting sick, losing jobs/income, losing loved ones, and potentially overwhelming the NHS.
Whilst fear is the natural response, it really doesn’t serve us to stay in that paralysing state, in fact chronic stress compromises our immune systems and predisposes us to pain and ill-health. Now, more than ever, we need to do what we can to override this natural default fear response, in order to stay as vital and healthy as possible for ourselves, our families and our communities.
There are so many simple, yet powerful things that we can be doing to help ourselves, help our loved ones and to ultimately help take the strain off the NHS, so here are a few antidotes to fear:
Practise breathing deeply for three minutes every hour, just slow things right down and imagine you’re filling a balloon from the base of your belly, expanding up to your ribcage and then opening up into your back, gently widening the gaps in between each rib, and slowly exhale keeping the balloon controlled and gentle.
2. Release negative emotions:
Journal, write down how you’re feeling or what you’re worried about, or try Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to shift your emotional state.
3. Limit your news intake:
It doesn’t serve anyone to be constantly consuming negativity, check in once a day if you have to but otherwise be conscious of what you’re allowing in.
4. Stop yourself dwelling on the future
None of us know how things will be in a week, or a month’s time, so conserve your precious energy as best you can by taking each day, each hour, each minute at a time, and do the very best you can in each moment – that’s all we can do.
5. Give gratitude:
Search for and make a list of the good around you, every morning and evening – it will train your brain to hunt for and focus on the positives, which always makes us feel better. Aim for 15-20 things in your list, or until you are feeling more positive.
6. Kindness in action:
What can I do to help myself, and others? Asking this question shifts us out of the paralysing stress response, and reminds us that even when life feels out of our control, we always have control over our actions and how we choose to respond.
The NHS is relying on us to step up and do what we can to stay physically well:
- Eat well and drink water – take advantage of restaurants and temptations being closed, and make the best choices you can.
- Prioritise good sleep and rest – it’s absolutely critical to let the body recharge and reset.
- Boost your immune system – with supplements like Vitamin C, Zinc, Probiotics, Echinacea and Vitamin D.
- Move your body – walk, dance, skip, cycle, stretch, go up the stairs – we are designed to move, and our immune systems rely on us to keep our blood moving.
- Avoid immune depleting foods and drink – comfort foods like sugar and alcohol compromise our immune systems, by avoiding them you will actually be supporting the NHS in reducing your chances of falling ill.
My heart goes out to each and every one of you at this challenging time - please do reach out if I can help, or support you in any way.
Katrina Mather is the founder of The Body Toolkit, an award-winning retreat programme.