Our Top Tips for Helping Manage Feelings of Anxiety
It’s totally natural to have feelings of anxiety right now. With Covid 19 putting the entire healthcare system under enormous pressures, every single healthcare professional is having to deal with hugely stressful situations every single day.
This ongoing stress couldn’t have come at a worse time, either. With social distancing measures in place and the UK facing a prolonged period of lockdown, vital social outlets for people are potentially out of reach – cutting off those crucial interactions everyone really needs right now when times are tough.
With the coronavirus seemingly here for the long-term, we’ve all got a duty to ensure we look out for one another – and helping manage feelings of anxiety and stress something simple anyone can do, even if in isolation. The team here at ID Medical are no different – we’ve got a candidate base of over 70,000 people, so their wellbeing is a top priority for us.
To help maintain positive mental health, we’ve put together a collection of top tips that can help you manage those feelings of anxiety and maintain a positive, healthy sense of wellbeing.
DON’T IGNORE YOUR FEELINGS
Our first tip is that feeling anxious is completely normal! The real problems occur when that feeling of anxiety becomes constant, and that’s the point when it’s time to take action.
Anxiety is body’s natural reaction to feelings of apprehension; be it starting a new job, giving a speech or even a first date! We’ll all be familiar with it, but with many medical professionals suffering from more heightened levels of stress than most, anxiety can quickly becoming overwhelming.
This is especially true if you try to simply ignore anxiousness. Sure, we may all have those days of just ‘soldiering on’ even when we’re not feeling right, but this shouldn’t become the norm. In the worst cases, it can start negatively interfering with your life and, in extreme cases, lead to anxiety disorders such as PTSD, panic attacks and even depression.
With all of us feeling under pressure, we can’t state how important it is for everyone to reach out and speak out if they’re feeling overly anxious. Which leads onto…
Keep in touch
As we all know, social distancing and isolation measures are in place to protect those most vulnerable in society, and also the NHS from the worst of Covid 19. However, the downside to this is that keeping in touch with friends, families and colleagues can become extremely difficult and sporadic.
For our healthcare professionals, this can be a huge problem. Not only could they be having to cope with the emotional stress of treating sick and gravely ill patients, but with contact with friends and families potentially being severely restricted, they could also be missing crucial emotional support.
Luckily, there are of course a wealth of networking platforms to maintain that all-important social wellbeing – not forgetting the good old fashioned telephone! Slack, WhatsApp, MS Teams… You get the idea. Having regular catch ups with friends, family and colleagues is great for relieving feelings of anxiety and can be fun, too.
GET ACCESS TO PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT
It may reach a point where you need a little extra support to get through tough times. If you are beginning to feel anxiety overwhelm you, there are a whole host of professional mental health support services which can help you through and manage those feeling effectively.
Anxiety is something that can affect every medical professional, and it’s one of the reasons why we offer a dedicated mental health helpline to our candidates; providing that vital care our medical professionals may need in times of hardship. They can call any time, 24/7, 365 days a year, and be given crucial mental health support when they need it.
We all need to break the stigma of talking about mental health issues such as anxiety. Wellbeing is more than just physical health, so never be afraid to reach out for professional help when you need it.
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DON’T GET WRAPPED UP IN NEGATIVITY
In challenging times, it can be all-too easy to become wrapped up with the seemingly endless streams of bad news shared through the media. With news and current events available at our fingertips 24/7, you can easily become obsessed by all the bad things going on the world, which can simply add to feelings of anxiety and hopelessness.
To combat this, try not to let the ongoing Covid 19 situation be the dominating factor in what you watch and listen to every day. Also, always be sceptical of what you see on social media! Just because someone you know has tweeted a ‘fact’ or an ‘influencer’ has published a story doesn’t make either true – always aim to check sources before believing the hype.
And don’t forget, the world is a big, big place. There’s plenty of more positive news out there which also deserve your attention.
DON’T FORGET TO KEEP ACTIVE
Of course, we all have a duty to stay socially distant over the coming weeks and possibly months, but keeping physically can help boost morale and reduce feelings of anxiety – as well as maintaining your physical health.
Regular exercise helps reduce feelings of tension, stress and reduces feelings of anxiety, too.
Anything that gets you moving can do the trick: be it just taking a 5-minute break away from your duties (when possible of course) to even taking some time out to do some gardening when you’re at home! If regular outdoor exercise isn’t possible, you can also try deep breathing exercises, which are great for reducing tension and feelings of anxiety.
With the UK Government currently advising to exercise outdoors once a day and at least 2 meters apart from other people, it’s still possible to enjoy walks or bike rides to maintain your regular physical activity. There’s also plenty of online exercise classes and apps available which you can signpost to you people if they’re self-isolating or have only limited outside space.
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