With so much uncertainty around right now, the only certainty seems to be this: COVID anxiety is a thing and it’s becoming more of a problem as time goes by.
COVID anxiety is affecting mental health for a lot of people and we need to do something about it.
What is COVID anxiety?
It’s the various aspects of COVID that are creating additional anxieties in people. For me this is not the same as simply having a higher level of anxiety due to the pressures of living with COVID.Some people are reporting that since COVID came into our lives, they are now experiencing anxiety where they didn’t before.
Interestingly, some people are finding that their anxiety has reduced since COVID. This indicates that their life pre-COVID was anxiety-inducing, and now those factors are no longer present.
Anxiety makes other things worse
From the work that I do, I’ve noticed that anxiety is something that tends to make other things worse; it’s like a feeder for other conditions. So if you’re mental health felt delicate before COVID, well now it’s going to be taking a battering if COVID is creating anxiety for you.
This is very bad news for mental health and I want to do something about it.
During my time in working with people in clearing their head trash using the Head Trash Clearance Method I’ve had plenty of clients reduce their anxiety.
But what makes this noteworthy is that we weren’t working on their anxiety; getting rid of their anxiety was a bonus side effect.
This has given me some useful perspectives and understanding about anxiety and how to address it.
The best place to start when tackling anxiety is to identify the various sources and tackle them one by one. In doing so, we can slowly but surely reduce the overall level of anxiety. With consistent focus and effort anxiety levels can be massively reduced in a matter of months.
I’ve developed a methodical process for my clients to work through to tackle their anxiety that systematically works through each aspect of their lives that is contributing to their anxiety.
If we are to reduce COVID anxiety, then I would take the same approach and instead take a look at those aspects of living under the COVID cloud that may be causing anxiety. So what are those aspects?
What are the various aspects of COVID anxiety?
Here are some of the aspects of COVID anxiety.
This is a general sense of fear and anxiety that COVID is triggering in people. This aspect to the anxiety is around how life has changed for us; the restrictions, the loss of freedom and the lack of social interaction. It also includes worries about the future and how there is so much uncertainty about how our lives will evolve as we navigate our way through this.
There are several aspects about wearing masks that are adding to people’s anxiety.
The physical feeling of wearing a mask and how it affects our breathing and comfort levels. Some people report that they feel dizzy and light-headed when they’ve been wearing a mask for a while. For those who suffer from claustrophobia or who have suffered abuse of some kind wearing a mask might could be triggering for them. Wearing a mask could elicit feelings of being trapped or suffocated which could lead to things like panic attacks.
The issue of wearing masks is also polarising. While there are those who are happy to wear masks, there are also those who aren’t. Perhaps they disagree with the idea of them or they have a health reason for not wearing them. Whatever it is, there are people who are triggered by these mask-rejectors. Perhaps they don’t like that they’re not following the rules or that they’re putting everyone else at risk.
It’s not just the mask-wearers who judge the non-wearers. There are also non-wearers judging the mask-wearers.
The judgement that occurs between these two groups has the potential to lead to arguments or conflict, and affect relationships. Added friction in our relationships can quickly exacerbate anxiety as our usual sources of support may now be threatened.
When you suffer from health anxiety, you worry about being ill and catching something. Health anxiety is something that was affecting people before COVID came along, but since its arrival into our lives, it now affects a lot more people. For those that had it before, now it’s more intense for them.
A lot of the worry is around getting ill, whether they’ll be able to cope with being ill and whether they’ll recover. Hospital and medical fears can sometimes show up too; things like a fear of needles and injections, or of being in a hospital and dealing with doctors and nurses.
The arrival of COVID means that these worries are affecting a lot more people. And all of these fears and anxieties are exacerbated significantly for those who already suffer from health anxiety.
Some countries still have lockdowns and if it’s not a full lockdown, then significant restrictions are in place; curfews and certain businesses and establishments closed.
With the closure of many entertainment venues like restaurants and bars, concert halls and gyms, people are missing the things they usually turn to to pass the time.
The anxiety created by boredom itself also means that things that they would normally enjoy are now not as enjoyable. READ MORE HERE.
Social distancing and social anxiety
The overriding message we seem to be hearing in the headlines is around how many people are suffering from not having social contact and this is definitely something that’s affecting people. But it goes the other way too. Those who suffer with social anxiety are said to be feeling much better now that there is less pressure to be social.
Social distancing means that we are not able to be close to the people we care about. This reduced contact – lack of in many instances – is a real struggle for a lot of people. Hugs and kisses are a thing of the past and this feed a sense of disconnection and alone-ness. Those who live alone feel isolated and disconnected from friends, family and other social groups.
How to tackle COVID anxiety
Within each of these aspects there will be conflicts and triggers that need to be identified. Once identified they can be addressed using Head Trash Clearance. This process needn’t take long and a difference can be observed in a matter of weeks or months.
There’s a very important point I’d like to make around all of this and it’s this. When it comes to COVID there is a lot of judgement as to what we should and shouldn’t be doing. This in itself is the cause of a lot of anxiety for people.
What I’m suggesting here in reducing the anxiety is not that we can change what is actually happening (and the decisions that various governments are making) but that we can change how we RESPOND to what is happening.
Our need to try and control or change things that are outside of our control can be a huge source of the anxiety we could be experiencing. The best approach for our mental health is to control what we CAN control, and that is how we respond to something. If we’re able to respond calmly to situations that were previously triggering for us, this can make a huge difference in our day to day life experience. And it also means that we are much better placed to actually have an impact on what is happening.
Head Trash Clearance Tips
If you want to tackle your COVID anxiety, then it’s worth exploring each of these aspects and identifying what it is about those things that brings up fear or anxiety for you.There’s a lot here to unravel and it will be different for everyone, but here are some things that I would expect to see on someone’s Head Trash Clearance To-DO list if they wanted to reduce their COVID anxiety.
- Getting ill
- Wearing a mask
- Being told what to do