Friday, December 8, 2023

Feeling a Bit Anxious or Overwhelmed Right Now? 8 Simple Tips for Keeping Calm and Carrying On

Ok team, the news that we’re going back up a level or two in the Covid-19 alert system isn’t great news, especially if you’re in Auckland. 

If you’re feeling anxious, scared, annoyed or just a bit meh, it’s all normal. Or, if you’re like us and you’re wildly swinging from emotion to emotion, that’s fine too. 

Covid-19 is the little bitch that keeps on giving and the only thing we can do is deal with her situations as they come up, which means a return to lockdown for Auckland, and more stringent social distancing for the rest of New Zealand. 

We’ve done it before, and we can do it again – but in the meantime, if you’re feeling a little bit vulnies as well, here’s a list of tips and tricks you can do to help you get on top of your anxiety. 

1. Take a deep breath

First things first, take a few deep breaths. It’s amazing what a bit of oxygen can do for the brain, and helps you centre your thoughts, slow your heart rate and clear your mind. 

2. Give yourself permission to say ‘This sucks’

There’s no two ways about it, the fact we have community transmission in New Zealand sucks. And while we’re all for looking on the bright side and staying positive, your emotions are your emotions and you need to recognise them (check out our story on Toxic Positivity for psychologist Dr Ruth Jillings’ advice on how to work through your emotions). 

Acknowledge your feelings for what they are, deal with them the best way you know how, and move on. 

3. Plan and prepare, but don’t panic

You can’t control Covid-19, but there are things that you can control. Take a few minutes today to check on your essential supplies, consult your calendar and postpone or cancel relevant appointments, and plan for some at-home activities. 

4. Make sure you’re getting your facts from TRUSTED sources

This is not the time for scaremongering, or conspiracy theories, or taking what your uncle Jim says on Facebook as gospel. Social media is rife with speculation and commentary from individuals with no insider knowledge, scientific information or medical degrees, and it’s wildly unhelpful. Take advice from sources such as the Government, your doctor and services like Healthline, and ignore those popping up in your feed who claim to have inside knowledge, or who spread rumours or unverified facts.

5. Have a yarn

Even if you’re feeling OK, give your friends, whanau and neighbours a bell to check in. Staying connected helps us feel a little more stable, and it can be helpful to chat about any anxieties or worries you’re feeling with someone you’re comfortable talking to. 

6. Lower your expectations

Guys we’re all doing the best we can, and you just need to do you, boo. If you need to take a few hours out to have a nap, to go for a walk, to binge-watch Schitt’s Creek (would highly recommend) just do it. Remember, you don’t have to be productive every second of the day, and you don’t have to ‘keep it together’ for the sake of a facade either. 

7. Find the light and see the good

Practicing gratitude and mindfulness (don’t roll your eyes) can sometimes sound wanky but can also be super helpful in challenging times. If you’re safe, warm, fed and watered, start there – and treat yourself to the little things in life that make you smile (here’s a handy list of 20 ways to do just that!) 

8. Remember this too shall pass

Nothing is forever – and regardless of how long we remain in elevated levels, it’s only temporary. There are a host of services available for you to use if you need them – even if it’s just for a chat. And our inbox is always open – you can reach us on [email protected] 

Kia kaha, team – we’ve got this. 

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