'As we face the unknown, it is okay to feel vulnerable or overwhelmed, acknowledge your feelings and talk about them.'

Fear and anxiety can drive us to become very self-focused. Yet our choices affect everyone around us.

We are all connected to each other, our actions will impact others.

It is so important that we respect ourselves and each other by following the guidelines in place, focusing on the common goal of keeping ourselves and each other safe and well.

As we sit facing the unknown, the majority of us (if not all) will be living with some degree of anxiety and worry.

I have listed below techniques that can be used to help lower these feelings.

Most people’s lives have or will change in the coming days and weeks, our routines will be altered.
With these changes, you may notice:

• Increased anxiety.
• Excessively checking for symptoms.
• Financial stress/worry
• Irritability.
• Feeling insecure or unsettled.
• Difficulty sleeping or falling asleep.
• Irrational thoughts.
• Feeling lethargic or low.

How you can care for your mental health and well-being during this time:

• Focus on the facts of this situation, not rumours or fake news.

To help you keep a realistic perspective, listen/watch/follow trustworthy and reliable sources. Also set yourself time limits for checking the news or updates. When our anxiety is high, it can result in the need or urge to over-check, however this further feeds our anxiety. Also consider limiting the time you spend on social media.

• Create a new routine. 

For many of us, our routines have been changed. This can create feelings of insecurity. We may feel we are loosing control. However you do have control to create a new routine.

Sit down by yourself, with your partner or family and devise a new daily routine. This will help gain structure in your day.

When creating a new routine, pay attention to your needs and feelings. Make sure to include activities that help you to lower your stress levels, like reading, writing, drawing, meditating, have a bath or some quiet time. Eating healthily and sleeping well can also help reduce stress levels.

Staying connected

To our friends, families and partners can be an great source of comfort and support during times of stress. We can stay in touch with each other through social media, emailing or by phoning. Talking things through helps to lower or worry.

It is okay to feel vulnerable or overwhelmed, acknowledge your feelings and talk about them. Remember we’re all in this together.

I will be working with clients via phone/online sessions during this period. I can be contacted via my Facebook page, email @newbeginningsdonegal@gmail.com or call/text 0864477867.

Take care of yourself and each other, Sarah.