What can you do to help yourself During Lockdown?

This lockdown seems so much harder. The first one we had the nice weather, so we could sit in the garden and be active outside. Then the second one weather wasn’t great but at least we had Christmas to look forward to. However this one is not so good. and I’m not gonna be mean and list why, because this lockdown is affecting so many people in different ways, but what can we do to help ourselves and our mental health?

Well here are some tips that I have passed on to my clients.

Taking care of your mind as well as your body is really important if you are staying at home because of coronavirus. You may feel worried or anxious about your finances, your health or those close to you. Perhaps you feel bored, frustrated or lonely. It’s important to remember that it’s OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently.

Remember, for most of us, these feelings will pass. Staying at home may be difficult, but you’re helping to protect yourself and others by doing it.

There are things you can do now to help you keep on top of your mental wellbeing and cope with how you may feel if you’re staying at home. Make sure you get further support if you feel you need it.

Don’t be a victim of this lockdown.

Stay connected with others
Maintaining healthy relationships with people you trust is important for your mental wellbeing. Think about ways to stay in touch with friends and family – by phone, messaging, video calls or social media.

Talk about your worries
It’s normal to feel a bit worried, scared or helpless about the current situation. Remember: it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust – and doing so may help them too. If you cannot speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, there are plenty of helplines you can try instead.

Look after your body
Our physical health has a big impact on how we feel. At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour that end up making you feel worse. Try to eat healthy, NO comfort eating,or picking out of boredom. well-balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly. Avoid smoking, drugs or drinking too much alcohol.

If you are staying at home, you could try exercising indoors, as there are lots of free online classes. Or try an easy 10-minute home workout.

Stay on top of difficult feelings
Concern about the coronavirus outbreak and your health is normal. However, some people may experience intense anxiety that can affect their day-to-day life. Help yourself by staying off social media and reading all the nonsense that is being posted. Limit you news intake to perhaps the main evening bulletin. Try to focus on the things you can control, such as how you act, who you speak to and where you get information from.

It’s fine to acknowledge that some things are outside of your control, but if constant thoughts about the situation are making you feel anxious or overwhelmed, try some ideas to help manage your anxiety.


Some top tips

Top tips to cope with anxiety

Understand your anxiety
Try keeping a diary of what you are doing and how you feel at different times to help identify what’s affecting you and what you need to take action on.

Challenge your anxious thoughts
Tackling unhelpful thoughts is one of the best things we can do to feel less anxious. Watch the video to find out more.

Make time for worries
If your worry feels overwhelming and takes over your day, setting specific “worry time” to go through your concerns each day can help you to focus on other things. Watch the video for more advice.

Shift your focus
Some people find relaxation, mindfulness or breathing exercises helpful. They reduce tension and focus our awareness on the present moment.

Face the things you want to avoid
It’s easy to avoid situations, or rely on habits that make us feel safer, but these can keep anxiety going. By slowly building up time in worrying situations, anxious feelings will gradually reduce and you will see these situations are OK.

Get to grips with the problem
When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, it can help to use a problem-solving technique to identify some solutions. This can make the challenges you’re facing feel more manageable.


Carry on doing things you enjoy
If we are feeling worried, anxious, lonely or low, we may stop doing things we usually enjoy. Make an effort to focus on your favourite hobby if it is something you can still do at home. Or start a new hobby: read, write, do crosswords or jigsaws, bake, or try drawing and painting. Whatever it is, find something that works for you.

If you cannot think of anything you like doing, try learning something new at home. There are lots of free tutorials and courses online. You can still stay social at home by joining others online: book clubs, pub quizzes and music concerts are just a few of the things to try.

Take time to relax
This can help with difficult emotions and worries, and improve our wellbeing. Relaxation techniques can also help deal with feelings of anxiety. Make sure you take ME time. Even if it’s just a coffee on your own or a 30 minute time out to read a chapter of a book. just you and some peace.

Get good sleep
Good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel, so it’s important to get enough. Try to maintain your regular sleeping pattern and stick to good sleep practices.

“Don’t be a victim of this lockdown. Be a survivor in fact, focus on you and emerge a stronger, healthier and happier person.”

I can help. Message me

Until next time.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Jon

Hypnotherapy in Suffolk, Essex and Cambridge. and online via Zoom

Jon Adkin Author of ‘Can I Change?’ Available from Amazon. and 100 days in isolation. A collection of funny original images of one mans decent into comic madness during lockdown

Find me on You TubeFacebook, Instagram. and now TikTok.

Just checking in

Hi. A different type of blog today. I’ve noticed that the lock down is starting to take it’s toll on some people. So today I want to offer you a weekly mental health check in.

Feelings.

Set an alarm on your phone, or a reminder in your calendar, so at a set time each week you can quickly do a check in on a scale from 0(‘not at all’) to 10 (‘extremely’) of how stressed, anxious or down you are feeling.

Body

Take a moment to notice any tension in your body like tight shoulders, chest or jaws. Other signs that you might be feeling stressed include dryness of the mouth, difficulty breathing, and a racing heart.

Sleep

If you are constantly struggling to get to sleep, waking in the night,waking earlier than usual and/or finding it difficult to get back to sleep, these are signs your mind is unable to switch off and relax.

Thoughts

Are you worrying about the worst-case scenarios? Focusing on the ‘what-if’ scenarios is not useful and is best to try to limit this as much as possibe.

Reactions and behaviour

If you find yourself frequently snapping at those you love, finding it extremely difficult to focus, or always depending on things like alcohol or food to cope. It is time to prioritise your mental wellbeing.

Check in buddy

Choose a check in buddy. This may be your partner, housemate or even a friend or colleague you’re keeping in touch with via social media or face time etc. Be honest with yourself and with them about how you are coping.

I sadly can’t see you one to one at the moment but I am offering Online sessions if you need that little bit of extra help.

Be kind to others.

How we can cope with lock down.

We are social animals, So how will we stop getting lonely and crazy as we distance ourselves socially and self-isolate? Well, our first motto should be: “Don’t waste a crisis!” If we are imaginative, we will find silver linings in these very dark clouds. We can experiment with new ways of living. These won’t just help us cope with the emergency. they actually can help us to enjoy it.

Virtual coffees, lunches and dinners

Using face time or What’s app create a group and have a coffee morning. Have a good old chat, moan and more importantly a laugh.

Sing and dance

The Italians are keeping their spirits up by singing from their balconies. But they don’t have a monopoly on bel canto. or how about remote dancing. Friends in Italy are already using an app called House Party to have virtual parties. let’s use the technology for good.

On yer bike

Public transport isn’t safe. So for short distances, why not walk? And for middling distances,as part of your daily exercise, why not bike? It’s also a good way to keep fit.

Virtual gyms

So many personal trainers are offering work outs for all ages and all fitness levels. Find one that suits you and make it a routine.

Enjoy some happy memories

Time to reflect

Most people’s lives are dictated by routines: take the kids to school, rush to work, endless emails, get home, crash. The rat race isn’t great. But sitting around home twiddling our thumbs won’t be much fun either. So we need new routines.

Every morning, I have started to say out loud 5 things I am grateful for. Every evening I do the same and think why they are meaningful. These habits provide bookends to my day and help me make the most of what happens in between. I’ve also used my music streaming service and I’m listening to all the albums that made a mark on my life. (boy, some of them are crap when you re-listen), but that is what makes it a great thing to do.

Deepen our friendships

Much of the time, we’re too busy to think deeply about our friends and family. But now we’ll have more time. We can use some of it to think about what our loved ones really need and then help them get it… remotely. this time also shows who the true friends are. The ones who check in on you, the ones who make you smile. The ones who care.

Enjoy a good book

Virtual book groups

People will also have time to read. But that can be a lonely activity – and we get more intellectual stimulation if we share our ideas with others. How about when you finish a book, type out your thoughts and send them to friends to provoke discussion. Why not go further and organise virtual book groups?

Connect with far-away friends

Just because you’re not in the same room doesn’t mean you can’t have a deep friendship. Indeed, the virus offers an opportunity to connect with those who live far away. After all, if you are distancing yourself physically from others, it doesn’t matter whether they are in London, Cayman or Milan. The more we reach across the world and show we care for one another, the more we’ll help defeat that other terrible virus: nationalism.

Other people will have different ideas about how to make the most of this virus crisis. We can all experience the pleasure of inventing and experimenting with new ways of living.

Until next week. Stay safe, stay healthy.

Best wishes

Jon X

Hypnotherapy in Suffolk, Essex and Cambridge.

Jon Adkin Author of ‘Can I Change?’ Available from Amazon.

Find me on You TubeFacebook and Instagram.

Night Night.

Hi. Hope you are having a good week. This week I’m concluding my night time anxiety blog.

Has anyone found any of the tips or advice that I’ve offered helpful? If you have let me know.

So What else can you do to ease the night time anxiety? Theis is a strange one.

Make your worries real

Write down what’s on your mind at least an hour before bed. By committing thoughts to paper, you control them – they no longer control you and live on paper instead of in your head. Mentally, you can tick them off. Dr Guy Meadows suggests giving each worry a nickname, too, such as The Nag. ‘We can’t help these thoughts coming in, but they’re only a problem when they start to consume us,’ he says. ‘By giving them names, you speed up the process of defusion, so when unpleasant thoughts crop up, you can just acknowledge them – oh, there’s The Nag again – and go back to what you’re doing.’

Get moving earlier

Strenuous exercise in the evening may cause your nervous system to be too wired to sleep, says meditation teacher Will Williams. So either restructure your day to exercise in the morning, or use meditation after exercise to calm everything down and bring you back into balance.

Set clear goals

Have a clear plan for the next day, says psychologist Susanna Halonen. ‘If you know what priority number one and two are, you’ll spend less time worrying because you know those are the first two things you’ll get done. The more you turn this into a habit, the more you realise that if you plan ahead and prioritise effectively, the more easily you can get the important things done. This will lower your anxiety and help you sleep better.’

Woman-on-phone-in-bed

Curb your cyberenthusiasm

If we’re going to feel worry-free at night, it’s crucially important to have a mental switch-off, says Neil Shah of The Stress Management Society. ‘So have a digital blackout for an hour before bed, unplugging all devices that could stimulate the mind.’ browsing the latest headlines online may feel like light relief, but it actually keeps your brain stimulated. He says, ‘If checking your phone is part of your end-of-day routine, do this at least half an hour before you turn the lights out so you give your eyes and brain a break. Put any electronics out of reach or on airplane mode so you won’t be tempted to pick them up in the night – or if you can, turn them off completely.’
LCD screens emit blue light, which is the same sort as sunlight, so plays havoc with our sleep hormones. ‘Checking Facebook last thing at night is like shining a miniature sun into your eyes,’ says Dr Guy Meadows of The Sleep School. ‘Our body clock gets confused and starts thinking it’s daytime again, so it inhibits the sleep hormone melatonin and releases the waking hormone cortisol.’

Leave the room

If you simply can’t get back to sleep because your head is buzzing with worry, don’t look at the clock – you’ll fret even more. ‘Just get out of bed and go into another room for 10 minutes,’ says Dr Ramlakhan. ‘Leaving the environment you feel uncomfortable in breaks the association with worries. But don’t start checking your phone or scrolling through Facebook.
Go into the living room and under a dim light read a few pages of a light-hearted book, or yesterday’s newspaper. When you feel calm, return to your bed and begin some deep breathing again.’ He adds, ‘Turn your pillow over when you get back into bed. It will feel cooler on your face and creates a separation from the last time you were lying there.’

Anxiety quick tips.

Start Deep-Breathing
If you’re not focused on how to calm your body through slow, intentional belly-breathing, you’re missing out. Belly-breathing is free, location independent, and easy to implement.

Meditate instead of Medicate
Calm is an inside job. Give yourself the gift of serenity and start the day with ten minutes of solitude and positive energy. Think calm, measured and open-minded, and your daily activities will correspond.

Practice Self-Care
Get a massage, a mani-pedi, or a haircut. Nothing says polished and well-maintained like a sexy, healthy glow.

Eliminate fizzy drinks
That morning cup of jcoffee can jumpstart your day and provide warmth and comfort, but anything with high fructose corn syrup and 177 other ingredients will not.

Trim the Fat from Your Budget
Debt will keep you up at night and contribute to feelings of low self-worth and hopelessness. Take charge of your finances and stop spending on non-essentials. Track your daily expenses for a week or two and decide where you can cut back. Notice the items you accumulate mindlessly.

Plan a Day Trip
When you spend time in nature, you give your mind and body a much needed break from the hustle and bustle which causes you to Google things like “How to get rid of anxiety” in the first place. Chances are no matter where you live, there’s a serene, interesting and charming place within a couple hours.

Go to Bed Early
This may sound impossible if you’re accustomed to staying up late to catch up on the To-Do list. But this one’s a MUST. Sleep deprivation is a huge anxiety culprit. Inadequate shuteye can amplify the brain’s anticipatory reactions, upping overall anxiety levels, according to research

Wake up 15 Minutes Early
Like most anxious people, you’re probably rushing around in the morning and yelling at everyone in your wake, “Hurry up! We’re going to be late!” Go slowly, and set yourself up for a relaxed day ahead. If you start to worry about the To-Do list, take a deep breath and think, There is enough time.

Get Your Lavender On!
Lavender oil has many healing properties and can be used as a natural remedy to reduce anxiety and other nervous conditions. There are many ways to incorporate lavender into your calm tool kit:

Reduce Caffeine, Sugar and Processed Foods From Your Diet
Caffeine can cause heart palpitations if you ingest too much. Caffeine also can trigger panic or anxiety attacks, especially if you have an anxiety disorder. Hypoglycaemia, or low blood sugar, can also cause palpitations.

Know that Feelings Are Not Facts
One of the hardest jobs of a hypnotherapist is to convince your anxious client that the feelings of low self-worth, guilt and shame are not accurate. Negative thoughts cause negative feelings.

Challenge Negative Core Beliefs
Remember that thoughts precede feelings. Negative thoughts lead to negative emotions, which lead to negative behaviours.

Get Some Accountability
If you’re BFF with Nervous Nellie or Anxious Allen, put your keyed-up energy to good use. Vow to work on healthier ways to cope when feeling stressed together.
Attend a Social Gathering (Even If You Don’t Want To)
If you’re prone to social anxiety, it’s important to make time for socialization. It’s cool to be an introvert, but know that we live in a universe that revolves around connecting with others.

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!
Exercise is nature’s anti-anxiety remedy. Besides clearing the mind, firing up the endorphins, and helping you sleep soundly at night, researchers have found that individuals who exercise vigorously and regularly were 25 percent less likely to develop an anxiety disorder within five years.

Accept Your Anxiety
Whether you inherited the “anxiety gene” from your parents, or your lifestyle, or both, accept your anxiety rather than fight it. It’s not about rolling over and giving up. Understand you have to work hard every day to bring calm to your environment. Remember there’s always options in life, and worse fates exist than being anxiety-sensitive. After all, when push comes to shove, at the end of the (stressed out) day, anxious people get the job done!

Schedule a Visit with a Therapist
Nobody deserves to feel bad. A qualified mental health professional is your best bet if your anxiety is unbearable.
PS. I know a good one. 🙂

www.jonadkin.com His brilliant

andre-hunter-5otlbgWJlLs-unsplash

These anxiety quotes not only provide inspiration,

but they give you a look into what it’s like living with anxiety and panic.

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

“Even when things are wonderful.

I’m always waiting for something horrible to happen.”

“Even the simplest task can be overwhelming at time.”

“I say “sorry” a lot, mostly because I feel everything is my fault.”

“Today I will not stress over things I can’t control.”

“I’m terrified that even if I try my hardest, I still won’t be good enough.”

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

“You are strong for getting out of bed in the morning when it feels like hell.

Book Cover

I hope you enjoyed this Blog. Please let me know if you use any of these tips. More detailed advice can be found in my book ‘Can I Change‘ available from Amazon in Paperback and Kindle versions.

Until Next time

Have a great week. Best wishes

Jon X