TIPS TO EASE ANXIETY
For many of us the gradual easing of lockdown with shops and businesses reopening cannot come soon enough, but there will be many of us who will find the new changes and adjustments hard to cope with, and we may find our stress and anxiety levels increasing as we navigate our way back to how life used to be.
Here are some tips to help if you find yourself struggling:
- Go at your own pace and don’t feel you have to be doing what everyone else is doing if it makes you feel anxious. Keep things as simple as you can to begin with to avoid feeling too overwhelmed with the changes.
- Take it one day at a time, its very easy and normal to worry about what might happen in the future and imagine different worse case scenarios so bring yourself back to the present and start with small doable goals you can achieve each day, and try to challenge yourself a little bit each time.
- Choose quieter times to go shopping into town. Arrange to go with or meet someone so you have some support if you can, and it will give you more of a reason to go. Keep your visits short to begin with, knowing that you only have to go in one or two shops and then you can leave will make it feel more manageable.
- Tell someone how you are feeling. You may well find that how you are feeling is not uncommon. We have had a year of being told to stay home, stay safe and to stay away from people, so it may take some adjusting to get back to feeling comfortable in all situations. We have all been through this together, so friends, family and co-workers should understand the reasons why this might be hard. These feelings of uncertainty and worry are nothing to be ashamed of, the more open you are the better you will feel and the more support you will receive.
- Slow deep breathing can be the easiest and quickest way to relieve anxiety. When we breathe in deeply we send a message to our brain that we are feeling calm. The great thing about deep breathing is that we can do it anywhere and at anytime time. If you are feeling anxious try this simple technique:
Take a deep breath in for a count of 7 and breath out for a count of 11, focus on how that breath feels as it enters or leaves your body and by counting in your head it will distract you from the situation. The important thing is to make the ‘out breath’ longer than the ‘in breath’.
- Focus on what you have control over – There are so many things we have absolutely no control over and yet we spend a lot of time and wasted energy worrying about things we cannot change or influence (and often these things never happen anyway). Instead look at what you CAN control. Have an action plan for managing things that you might find difficult.
- Positive self talk can help you move past any negative thoughts or anxiety you may have about returning back to work or taking that trip into town. It can help you recognize your strengths and remember times when you have done this successfully before. Simple mantras such as “I can do this / It’s ok to feel like this / I will get through this”. Take your negative thought and turn it into exactly the opposite. The more you say this new version to yourself the more your brain will believe it is possible and true.
- Writing down your worries can be really beneficial as it can literally de-clutter your mind and help to put things into perspective. Having a pen and a piece of paper by your bed just to jot down something that is bothering you or that you are worried you will forget can allow you to get a better night’s sleep.
- Be kind to yourself and remember it is normal to feel like this right now. Take time to focus on the positives and what you have achieved. Congratulate yourself when something has gone well or when you have pushed yourself out of your comfort zone.
FOR BUSINESS OWNERS
- Offer as much flexibility as possible as your staff return to work. It may take some time for people to readjust to the new routines especially if they are feeling anxious.
- Keep staff informed of changes and what measures are now in place, the more your staff know about what to expect and what is happening the calmer they will feel. When we are anxious our imaginations run riot and we envisage the worst possible scenarios, so having facts and being kept up to date will help to alleviate any concerns.
- Be understanding that the return to work for some will be challenging. Ask your staff what they might need in place to make them feel safe at work. Encourage open and honest conversations so they can raise any concerns and make sure you act on these concerns. Talk about any problems and issues you might have been dealing with as this can pave the way for staff to feel they are not alone. *
* With thanks to Amanda from Calmer Thoughts for these Tips to Ease Anxiety.’
Safe Spaces within town centre businesses
We have put together a list of businesses who currently offer a safe space within the town centre. Please do see the information below:
The Friary Guildford- North Street, Guildford, GU1 4YT- please phone the concierge located in the management area:01483 503773. For more information please click here
Guildford Museum- Quarry Street, Guildford, GU1 3SX ( N.B access by steps. Please ask at the counter. Reopening date TBC)
Yvonne Arnaud Cafe- Opening 17th May- Millbrook, Guildford, GU1 3UX
Virgin Money- 12 North Street, Guildford, GU1 4AF- please ask at the counter
Lloyds Bank- 147 High Street, Guildford, GU1 3AG- please ask at the counter
Metro Bank -35-37 North Street, Guildford, GU1 4TE- please ask at the counter
Barclays- 19 North St, Guildford GU1 4AG- please ask at the counter
Marks and Spencer’s- 61 High St, Guildford GU1 3EB- please ask a member of staff at the Customer Services desk
Waitrose- York Rd, Guildford GU1 4QG- please ask at the Customer Services desk
Local Mental Health and Wellbeing Organisations
Address: 69 Woodbridge Road, Guildford, GU1 4RD
Phone: 116 123 free from any phone; 03300945717 local call charges apply
Address: YMCA, Bridge Street, Guildford, GU1 4SB
Phone: 07825 799309
Address: 101 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, GU1 4UQ
Phone: 01483 303649
Centre for Psychology
Address: 26 Chertsey St, Guildford GU1 4HD
Phone: 01483 570765
GBC Community Wardens/Wellbeing Team
Address: Park Barn Centre, Park Barn Drive, Guildford GU2 8EN, 2nd office: Japonica Court, Shawfield Road, Ash GU12 6QU.