Last update: 12/7/2021
Below, you’ll find the links to some videos I’ve made especially for those feeling overwhelmed or anxious about coronavirus. They demonstrate techniques which have been proven to help people feel calmer. Some will work for you better than others. You can use them for any fear or trauma and build your resilience. Learn the techniques and use the ones that work best for you every day. There’s a new one out now – Video 5 “What If…” – on helping to point your thinking in a helpful direction when you doubt your ability to cope. I offer them as something to help you out, but they don’t and can’t replace speaking one-to-one to a professional. At the bottom of the page, I’ve listed some other organisations that offer help.
Fear & Anxiety
Few are feeling very calm with coronavirus around. A lot of fear and anxiety has been generated. The UK government’s advisory group known as SAGE recommended in March 2020 that: “the perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased” in order to get the public to comply with the government’s strategy. If you are overwhelmed by fear, it is likely that the resulting campaign has affected you.
Fear is your body’s alarm system – it’s a necessary thing to have. It floods your body with adrenaline (epinephrine), cortisol and nor-adrenaline readying you to fight or flee. But you can’t run away from coronavirus, nor punch it on the nose! If this call-to-action system is constantly triggered in the way it is being now, it soon leads to overwhelm and depletes your immune system at the very time your immune system needs to be functioning optimally. In one of the videos below, EFT Tapping, you’ll see how to use a technique that’s been proven to give a welcome boost to your immune system!
But you have to take action to reduce your fear and re-balance your immune system – just reading this is not enough.
Take the precautions you can, and calm your mind-body. My top tips include:
- Follow the precautions and guidelines the scientists recommend.
- Listen to the news/read newspapers sparingly. You will get to hear all you need to know.
- Every time the media talks about how many have died, hear instead the survival rates. Millions of people have survived COVID19 already. Some may even have had it without realising it, their immune systems are working so well. Others may feel like they have an illness comparable in incapacity to the flu and recover fully on their own. According to the UK government’s own statistics, over 99% who test positive recover, including more than 95% of people with underlying serious health conditions. Improvements in treatment are being made all the time. The news may be full of people may be being hospitalised right now, but less are dying and more are recovering.
- Keep in contact with your friends, family and colleagues. They can support you, and vice versa, from a distance. You need social contact for your mental and emotional wellbeing. So practise physical distancing, not social distancing while you must.
- Keep active – clean, exercise, garden, decorate…
- Learn something new – plenty to find out online or in books for the curious. Do that thing you always wanted to do. If you engage your brain in learning something new, it will have less time to worry.
- Be mindful and meditate – join Meditation Room, for example. We’re online too now. Mindfulness keeps you away from running scary scenarios in your mind, and helps you remain centred in the present moment. Meditation will help you take control of your thinking. It will give you that space between the trigger of yet another bulletin designed to make you fearful and your response – you’ll have enough space to engage your pre-frontal cortex, your logical thinking, to ask the right questions and make better decisions. This gives your body a boost too. It takes practise, so keep at it.
- Find something joyful, uplifting or to be thankful for in every day. Seek and you will find. Write them down, so you can look back on them if you need to. And pin up some uplifting photos, or use one as wallpaper on your phone or laptop.
- If social media contributes to feelings of anxiety or overwhelm – limit it and put a pause on friends who spread fear.
- Try some of the techniques below to give your mind-body a break and feel calmer and more resilient.
You build a lot of your immunity every day through human contact and not sterilising the shopping. When you’ve been ‘locked down’ for several weeks, or have been wearing a mask in close proximity to others, you won’t have the normal immunity you’re used to.
There is a plethora of tools and techniques to help you feel calmer and more resilient. I’m sharing some of my favourites. All of them have been proven to work. Some you’ll find better suited to you than others. All of them work to help you feel calmer instantly, and may also physically change your brain by altering the way the neurons are ‘wired together’. This effect may take a few days to embed, so repeat the techniques as and when you feel necessary. The information provided in these videos should not be used as a substitute for professional medical or psychological advice, diagnosis or treatment, if you continue to feel overwhelmed or worse, book an appointment or see Further Help section below. With the wonders of technology, I can see you over the internet.
These videos are designed for you to join in. Just watching them won’t make a big difference, but joining in just might.
In the first part of my video series, I’ll guide you through some deceptively simple Havening Techniques (courtesy of Dr Ron Ruden at www.havening.org) that you can use on yourself to help feel calmer. The more often you Haven, the more resilient you will become.
Try Havening – video 1
Do some Tapping – video 2
The second in the series guides you through some Emotional Freedom Techniques. Join in and tap on the acupressure points to calm your system. Tap every day to help feel calmer and build up your resilience. Just say out loud whatever is making your fearful or anxious and tap on the points as shown to calm the body’s stress response. You don’t even have to get them in precisely the right order all the time to feel the benefit. Tapping has also been shown to boost your Salivary Immunoglobulin A (SigA) as well as your mental wellbeing.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel while you’re there.
Breathe – video 3
One of the things I notice with clients when describing their fears is that their breathing changes or that they hold their breath. Practise breathing from your diaphragm – it fires your parasympathetic nervous system – the rest and digest system. In the third video, breathe with me. I recommend you breathe every day!!!
Laugh! – video 4
There’s probably never been a time when you’ve felt less like laughing and needed it more. Give a little boost to your immune system and mental wellbeing with daily laughter. In these trying times, give yourself permission to be a bit silly and laugh for no good reason other that you can. (Or laugh at me – I did when I watched it back!) Join in now. Laughing will also clear out the old stale air from your lungs most efficiently and joyfully! Once you start looking for the lighter side of life, you’ll find it. PLUS, and it’s a big one, laughter creates melatonin in your body and melatonin helps you sleep.
“What If…” – video 5
If you’re doubting your ability to get through yet another lockdown, point your thinking in a more helpful direction by asking yourself these 5 questions in a calm, caring and confident voice. If you’re exhausted by it all – remember your brain uses up more than 20% of your daily energy intake! Use your thinking to help you not drain you. Ask these questions whilst Havening or Tapping (see above) for an even greater boost to your wellbeing.
These videos are for learning purposes only. The information provided in these videos should not be used as a substitute for professional medical or psychological advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Here are some organisations to contact if you, or someone you know, needs help. There are many more out there.
Samaritans operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year, by calling 116 123. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at email@example.com
Papyrus offer support for children and young people under the age of 35 over the phone on 0800 068 41 41 between 9am – midnight every day of the year. If you would rather text you can do so on 07786 209697 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Rethink Mental Illness offer practical advice and information for anyone affected by mental health problems on a wide range of topics including treatment, support and care. Phone 0300 5000 927 (Mon-Fri 9.30am-4pm) or visit rethink.org
Mind also offer mental health support between 9am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. You can call them on 0300 123 3393 or text them on 86463. There is also lots of information available on their website.
Campaign Against Living Miserably’s (CALM) helpline and web-chat are open from 5pm until midnight, 365 days a year. Call CALM on 0800 58 58 58 or chat to their trained helpline staff online. No matter who you are or what you’re going through, it’s free, anonymous and confidential.