Are you Covid Anxious?
ARE YOU COVID ANXIOUS?
Wednesday 29th December 2021
If anyone didn’t know what it meant to feel anxious they most probably do now
There has been a huge amount of attention given to Mental Health needs over the past two years, since 2019, when the world's agenda was hijacked by Coronavirus.
I still remember, a friend, asking me back in 2017, “Hey, your profession is a dying profession”. I thought to myself – not sure that's correct. He then proceeded, “Who needs a psychologist or a psychotherapist, do you ever see anyone?...”
Now, my friend either had no idea what was happening in the world pre-COVID (as in the the world of Mental Health) or I clearly didn't talk to him much about my work.
Unknown to my friend, and many people, therapy has always been available and used by those seeking a way to improve their self-awareness and/or their emotional resilience.
It wasn’t long before the nation went into Lockdown 1.0 that, the same friend WhatsApp'd me to say “My God, we really need your help now…”
Many were oblivious to the fact that any life circumstance can impact on our emotional well-being. Give someone too many life stressors in one go, and how can you expect them not to react with stress and anxiety, anger, or depression even?
I guess, in a way, we can understand now, that therapy was never for the ‘odd, or the vulnerable or the mad’, or whatever theory some people believed in, about anxiety, and mental health. In fact, just the way a gymnasium and a personal trainer are not for the ‘odd, the weak, the medically vulnerable or the bad’, neither is having your own therapist to talk to on a weekly basis. It is a luxury to have the time and energy to go to the gym, or to train with a Personal Trainer, just as it is to have an hour all to yourself with your own personal therapist.
I see so many people suffering with severe anxiety triggered by COVID-19. A great number of these individuals are men and women in their mid 30's and 40's, having always been in control of their destiny, they find themselves with the first bout of ‘uncertainty in life’. No longer can they go out and see their friends, book their skiing holidays, propose to their girlfriend, start that business, or even see their colleague for a drink after work on a Friday night.
This is what can happen – when we become accustomed to having control in our lives, that one day something takes that control away. COVID-19 is a perfect example. We can no longer do the things we took for granted. Those of us, and yes, I know, we all like to be in control, but those who would happily refer to themselves as ‘a control freak’, have found the restrictions most painful; emotionally, physically, mentally, for some even spiritually.
Why? Because anxiety is when we become afraid of not being in control, it is when we cannot tolerate uncertainty, and our subconscious mind perceives this to be 'a threat to our survival'.
So, in the context of COVID-19 restrictions, we can reduce anxiety by reminding ourselves the only things we can control are these;
Whether or not we:
1. Go out
2. Keep a metre distance between ourselves and other people
3. Wash our hands often enough
4. Will remember to put on our mask when entering a store
5. Will pull-up our sleeve for the booster jab when we get the NHS text message.
Many aspects of our lives have never been in the realms of our control. In fact, the more we start to appreciate the only things we have in our control are; our own thoughts, feelings, reactions, and behaviours, the better we understand, that, by relinquishing our desire to always be in control, we truly become anxious free. We don’t need to control other people, what they do, what they say, what they want or what they don’t want. It is their free will.
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