Levels of stress, depression, and anxiety among parents and carers have increased with the pressures of the lockdowns (the University of Oxford)
I think that we are all seeing and feeling it in some way
The demands of meeting our children’s needs, homeschooling & work commitments.
Prolonged screen time, disruption to our daily routine, a lack of exercise, stress about exams, job security, finances, the virus, the effects on our parents, children are taking their toll
These are anxious times
Stress, worry, overthinking, overwhelm are becoming big problems for a lot of people.
But it’s what they cause that’s the real issue
Stress is showing itself as being easily upset, agitated, impatient, over-reactive. It’s causing arguments, anger, poor decisions, and poor stomach health.
Worry, overthinking and anxiety are affecting our sleep, socialising (even just showing up on zoom ) it’s leaving people uninterested, lacking any pleasure, feeling hopeless, exhausted, and not looking after themselves. It’s keeping people trapped unable to take even small risks to do the things they want and need to do.
Lockdown is having an effect on everyone in a family unit
When feeling like this most of us default to our survival coping mechanisms:
- Distracting ourselves
- Avoiding things
Comfort eating, drinking alcohol to take the edge off and relax, online shopping, scrolling social media, binge-watching tv, can take our mind off the worry for a while but can become destructive to our health & relationships. They only mask the problem and quickly become addictive and costly in the long term
Avoiding things we need to do that cause us discomfort and anxiety, keeps us stuck for longer. It becomes more of an issue and has a snowball effect the longer we leave it
Taking our frustrations out on others with criticism, blame, anger, projecting guilt and shame, withdrawal, makes us feel better but harms our connection and relationships over time.
None of these coping mechanisms work for us long-term. They just keep us stuck in a cycle of stress, anxiety, depression, and temporary relief.
To break the cycle we have to address the root of the problem.
Once we understand that worry, overwhelm, overthinking, anxiety are just feedback mechanisms. They are warning signs ‘alarm bells’ that something needs your attention and needs to be addressed. They are there to help and protect you.
Then we can work to change them rather than just cover them up or mute them.
If you change the INPUT the feedback will start to change. But if you keep feeding your system with the same things you will experience the same feedback: More worry, overwhelm, anxiety alarms
For example: You are anxious about the virus, so you watch the news to learn more, but the news just adds to your fears. You then can’t sleep, won’t go out. But you continue to watch the news, so it continues to make you anxious.
The short-term solution for dealing with worry, overthinking, anxiety is to figure out what needs addressing, what has put you in the state of overwhelm and anxiety?
It can be what you eat or drink, too many stimulants such as caffeine, sugar
How you breathe
Where your focus is <— this is the big one
Having no sense of purpose, direction, or goals
Then taking SMALL consistent action steps to address the causes.
We all experience anxiety at times in our life. It’s tough to deal with but we can train our ability to control it through breathing, meditation, anchoring, shifting our perception, re-framing, journaling, moving.
When you understand it and can control it, worry and anxiety is a good thing as it reminds you that something needs to change, you need to upskill yourself so that you can get to the next level in your life.
It’s one of the reasons I’m currently doing cold showers, to train myself to control my mind and breathing for the 30s it takes me to adapt to the cold.
I’m then pushing up the time I’m exposed to the cold (within safe limits) as it’s got health benefits and it trains discipline
I deliberately push myself in ways that are uncomfortable so that I can handle greater levels of discomfort that life throws at me without it affecting my health, happiness, relationships, personal & business growth.
The long-term solution to minimising worry, overthinking, overwhelm and anxiety is to build and create a life that doesn’t produce it.. but that’s not to say an easy life with no risks.
We need scary and exciting and we need some level of stress to progress.
It’s about building a life where you prioritise and feed the TRUE needs of your mind and body. A life where you take control of your emotions and energy.
Now it’s not easy to achieve this on your own. It’s why the best coaches have coaches. It’s why I do what I do inside my Invincible Woman Blueprint
If you’re struggling to manage your stress, worry, overthinking, and anxiety in a healthy way then get some help as you have the power to change how you feel you just need some help to do it.
For help & advice join my free Invincible Women Facebook Community https://www.facebook.com/groups/2338568656465729/