How do I manage anxiety in unprecedented times?


I just wanted to check in with all my past and present clients and try to offer support and tips on how to manage your Mental Health in these times of uncertainty.
A lot of us are scared, confused and unsure what the future holds. It is normal to feel anxious, it is normal to feel angry, emotional and irrational.
Some of us will come out of this better than others. We will mostly all come out the other side, so let’s use this time to reflect and grow stronger for when we are able to once again, hug family and friends, socialise in pubs and restaurants, have friends round for dinner, travel and all those other wonderful things we just a few weeks ago took for granted.
We need to take care of ourselves now whilst self-isolating, in order to be strong when we are able to come back together as a society.

The effects of anxiety on the body

Anxiety is a normal part of life. For example, you may have felt anxiety before addressing a group or in a job interview.

In the short term, anxiety increases your breathing and heart rate, concentrating blood flow to your brain, where you need it. This very physical response is preparing you to face an intense situation.

If it gets too intense, however, you might start to feel lightheaded and nauseous. An excessive or persistent state of anxiety can have a devastating effect on your physical and mental health.

Stressful life experiences may increase your risk for an anxiety disorder, too.

Long-term anxiety and panic attacks can cause your brain to release stress hormones on a regular basis. This can increase the frequency of symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and depression.

When you feel anxious and stressed, your brain floods your nervous system with hormones and chemicals designed to help you respond to a threat. Adrenaline and cortisol are two examples.

While helpful for the occasional high-stress event, long-term exposure to stress hormones can be more harmful to your physical health in the long run. For example, long-term exposure to cortisol can contribute to weight gain.

Continue with a self-care routine, get out in natural daylight as much as possible.

  1. Get 30 minutes daily exercise
  2. Read a book
  3. Connect with a past time you have not been able to do recently, due to lack of time.
  4. Create a mood board or journal
  5. Connect with a family member or friend each day by video or phone
  6. Practise mindfulness
  7. Start one new thing you will continue In the coming year

Remember it is only a short period of time in comparison to those who went to war for us. I saw a lovely quote “our grandparents were asked to go to war, we are only being asked to stay at home”. This for me does put it into perceptive. If we take care of ourselves both physically and mentally the majority of us will be ok. Make new experiences in these times of uncertainty and create new and beautiful memories. 
We all have choices choice to make the right choices for you and your family and whatever you choose to do please stay safe.

Article by Diane Pulley

Diane Pulley is a BACP accredited and UKRC psychotherapist and Life Coach having graduated from Warwick university. She has worked in private practise for many years with clients presenting various issues, from trauma, depression, anxiety and self confidence. Diane works with both individuals and couples. Her experience has lead her to work with corporate clients delivering stress management training for both staff and management. Aspire You has been born from a personal journey, of Diane's own marriage breaking down after 28 years, when she identified there is a need to support women through this process and help them rebuild their lives. "everyone has the potential to lead fulfilling lives and i am committed to helping individuals achieve that desire"