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Partner and Head of Family Law, Rugby
I have just been listening to the news and it mentioned that Mental Health Helplines have had an unprecedented increase in calls from people talking about their raised anxiety levels. I guess this is nothing to be surprised about, for most of us this is an angst ridden situation, with so many ‘unknowns’. Anxiety thrives on circumstances where we cannot predict outcomes, all of us have a need to feel we have some sort of control over situations, if it’s impossible to feel any sense of being able to manage circumstances, it can leave us feeling ‘all at sea’, very vulnerable and anxious.
With all of us restricted in our movements, it means that we can easily be affected by the emotions of those we are living with. If just one of the adults in the home is feeling overly anxious that anxiety can be projected on to other individuals, be they adults or children. That is just one of the good reasons to get out in the fresh air once a day and enjoy the weather, whatever it might be. Try to have some order to your day if you are feeling uneasy and fretful, it can be quite tempting to laze around in your pjs all day with no particular focus other than a screen of some description in front of you. If you can try and develop a new skill or interest, maybe one you can share with others, that can be quite uplifting. A mind that isn’t occupied can very easily stray into negative, anxious thoughts, which can spiral downwards quite easily. For those going through relationship and family breakdown, bereavement or life changing health issues it feels even more crucial to make sure they administer some care towards themselves and their children so they can manage any increase in anxiety levels during this challenging time.
Socialising face to face is now off limits for adults and children so try to have some fun together as a family if you can whilst maintaining contact with extended family and friends with whatever means you have available.
Recently, due to the current circumstances I have encountered lots of children who are experiencing major anxiety and parents can feel really helpless, thinking they can’t offer them any support when their own anxiety levels are high. A lovely activity for parents and children to do together is doing a creative visualisation together, it can be fun, relaxing and importantly, can empty the mind of those intrusive negative thoughts that might be dominating thinking. You can access some guided imagery scripts via the internet.
Keep safe and well, try and stay as calm and composed as possible and just a thought, maybe limit your intake of news and virus information. It’s very easy for our minds to go in to overdrive whilst we are constantly bombarded with information.