As coronavirus continues to impact our lives, it's no surprise that levels of anxiety are on the rise in the UK. But, what can we do to bring ourselves some much-needed mental relief? Joining us with his stress-relieving exercises, and simple tips - Paul McKenna is here with his advice on how to keep calm and carry on!
Over the last year, 74% of UK adults have reportedly felt 'overwhelmed' or 'unable to cope'. These levels will inevitably rise during this pandemic, however there are ways to reduce it and keep our minds calm. Paul says: "Stress affects our immune system. So we need to stay as calm as possible, as it will reduce the chances of becoming ill, and even more susceptible to the virus."
Simple, practical tips to calm your mind
Maintain a routine
- Set a schedule for yourself to stick to when you can
Don't lose contact
- Any contact is crucial to de-stressing, so try and get online or phone and facetime someone you know
Get enough sleep
- Don't let your stress keep you awake. More sleep boosts your immune system.
Don't let temptation takeover
- Try not to consume loads of caffeine or alcohol, as this leads to feeling down
- Continue to exercise as much as you can, as it instantly improves your mood. Talk a walk outside, as it's proven to reduce stress.
Limit the amount of news you see
- Keeping up to date with the virus is crucial, however don't spend all day watching the news on TV, or scrolling on your phone. Constantly seeing headlines will make you feel more anxious.
Limit your time on social media
- Social media during this time has already proven to be amazing. People coming together to bring joy to one another. However, there are also people scaremongering, and that's what you want to avoid.
Techniques to help with stress and anxiety
Heart math - Used by the American military
- Place your hand over your heart
- Take three deep breaths and recall a memory that makes you feel good
- Run the memory over and over again
- Imagine your heart can speak to you, telling you what you can do to feel good
- Do this every hour
Havening - A technique used by the likes of Justin Bieber and soldiers with PTSD
- Put your right hand on your left shoulder and left hand on your right shoulder
- Stroke the sides of your arms and move your eyes left to right
- This will dramatically reduce your stress as it replicates mothers rocking their babies to calm them down
- Looking from side to side produces waves in the brain that are the same to those created when you're in a deep sleep. Releasing happy neurotransmitters.