As if the Covid-19 pandemic was not bad enough two studies published this week reveal that anxiety in the UK has reached an all time high and that Covid-19 related anxiety, stress and depression has also has also reached an all time high.
If you follow my work, you will be aware that my passion is to create self help based solutions to problems like panic, anxiety, depression and stress. The video in this blog post will explain more about how to manage Covid Stress
Prof Nick Freemantle published research this week that revealed a dramatic 'explosion' in anxiety in the UK. Researchers are usually measured in their language but he described it as a 'profound increase in anxiety' caused by a number of circumstances but staring with the financial crash in 2008 and continuing through to the Covid threat.
His study examined the data from 6.6 million NHS patients. I will give you one example from the data that I find startling. In 2008 8.42% of women aged 18-24 suffered anxiety. In 2018 this number was 30.33%. That is a tripling of the rates of anxiety for this group. My often repeated mantra, 'The system is not working for you', has been once again proven to be sadly correct.
When you link this dramatic rise in anxiety with the onset of Covid-19 and we have a perfect storm of fear and stress. In the early stages of lock-down 57% of people surveyed reported symptoms of anxiety and 64% symptoms of depression. Prof Kavita Vedhara considered these levels are far in excess of levels usually seen in the UK.
The question I want to consider is what do we do about this pandemic of anxiety and stress?
In the video above this post I am going to talk about how to manage Covid stress. But I also want to talk about something that it is really worth thinking about.
If you were anxious before Covid then you are probably going to find that your anxiety piles onto of the Covid threat and magnifies it. I really don't see how this could fail to happen. It is obvious that previous anxiety + Covid threat = Covid Stress.
How to manage Covid Stress
1) Realise that Covid stress piles on top of pre-existing anxiety and stress.
2) Realise that anxiety is an internal reality problem.
3) Realise that Covid is both an external reality problem and an internal reality problem.
4) Realise that you cannot easily predict how the lockdown and Covid will affect you.
5) Realise that only dead fish go with the flow. This means that if you do nothing to push back against anxiety and Covid Stress you are simply going with the flow and this means that you will feel you have no control over where you are going and you may well end up in a place you don't want to be.
6) Develop a practice of pushing your shrinking comfort zone so that you are going against the flow, whist still remaining safe enough. And you are also pushing against the pre-existing anxiety.
A real and tangible action you can take today to push back against anxiety and Covid stress is to use Self Help CBT tools to minimise your pre-existing anxiety and this lessens the overall load of Covid stress.
Start with Anxiety Wizard. The first week is free.
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