Dealing with Coronaviruses from a psychological perspective

Dealing with Coronaviruses  from a psychological perspective

During these difficult times it is so easy to get caught in fear and anxiety. below I have provide some ways to help you deal with these feelings. 

I am also offering guidance and advice you can book a free 1/2 hour phone or video session with me.  there is no obligation to book any further sessions with me. Please call or email to book a slot. 

Dealing with stress

Ideas for managing stress

Become knowledgeable about stress Identify your major sources of stress. Anticipate stressful periods and plan for them. Develop a number of constructive strategies and practice them. Come to terms with your feelings Do not suppress your feelings: acknowledge them to yourself and share them with others. Learn to be flexible and adaptable.  
Develop effective behavioural skills Do not use the words ‘can not’ when you actually mean ‘will not.   Use free time productively   Be assertive. Avoid blaming others for situations. Provide positive feedback to others.   Learn to say no. Acknowledge problems as soon as they appear.   Develop a lifestyle that will strengthen you against stress Maintain correct weight. Regularly practise some form of exercise vigorous, stretching, and recreational. Engage regularly in some form of systematic relaxation. Use alcohol and caffeine in moderation or not at all. Avoid the use of tobacco. Avoid foods high in sugar, salt, white flour, saturated fats, and chemicals. Plan your use of time both daily and on a long-term basis. Seek out variety and change of pace.
Thinking skills Challenge your ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’ . Don’t jump to conclusions. Dwell on the positives rather than the negatives. Establish and maintain a strong support network Ask for direct help, and be receptive to it when it is offered. Rid yourself of dead or damaging relationships. Tell the participants of your support network that you value the relationship.

Journal writing

I believe journaling is a way to access your inner thoughts and to find answers to lingering problems in your life. Through journaling, your hand reaches into the depths of the self and allows for free expression.

Think about how often you have been asked how you were and you automatically responded with “Fine.” How many times were you really fine, or worse, couldn’t really say how you were feeling?

In a world where people are so busy they take their cell-phones to the beach on their “vacations” and the laptop into the bathroom, journaling can be the perfect way to take inventory of yourself and your feelings, resolve conflicts, make decisions and bring clarity to your life as well as to record your personal spiritual journey.

Don’t let a lack of time get in the way of your writing practice. Get up a few minutes early. Stay up a few minutes later. Hide in the bathroom if you have to. But make writing a priority, a ritual, a practice of self-care and nurturing.

First, kick the editor, the parent, the critic and the teacher out of the room. Then take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes. What images come to you? Write about them. What feelings are closest to the surface? Record them. Write quickly, honestly, deeply and without hesitation. Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar or penmanship. Keep the doors open to intuition and creativity. If you get stuck, write the last word you wrote over and over until another comes to you.

Some Benefits of Keeping a Journal

  • Reduces stress
  • Sets goals
  • Organizes
  • Helps focus
  • Can improve well-being
  • Makes time for you
  • Creates a personal reminder
  • Brings new insights
  • Can find answers to your questions

The beauty of keeping a journal is that it is your book. You get to choose not only when to write, but what to write.

Three minute breath

1. Awareness: Ask yourself the question: How am I doing right now? Focus your attention on your inner

perception. Notice which thoughts, feelings and physical sensations you are experiencing. Try to translate

your experiences into words. For example: “there are self-critical thoughts” or “I notice I am tensed”. What are

you feeling in your body? Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling in the current moment. Accept it. You can

tell yourself that it’s okay what you’re feeling, whatever is there is fine just the way it is.

2. Breathing: Next focus your full attention on your breath. Follow the breathing with your attention.

3. Expansion of attention: Allow your attention to expand to the rest of your body. Feel how your breath moves

throughout your whole body. With every in-breath you can feel how your body expands a little and with each

out-breath how it shrinks a little.

NB: During this exercise, your attention might get distracted by certain thoughts or feelings. Simply notice this. You can decide to observe these thoughts and feelings for a while and then return your attention to your breath or your body.

Rumination. (overthinking)

Ruminators repetitively go over and over events asking questions like “why did that happen? Will this ever end? I don’t know how to change this situation”.

Research has shown long term over-thinking (ruminating) causes depression and anxiety.

Here are some tips to help bring it back within your control.

Write it Down see journalling above

Try writing all your thoughts on a piece of paper then burn it.

Prioritise

Categorize your thoughts based on urgency; then try the traffic light system.

•          Green = urgent…needs doing today.

•          Amber = could wait a few days.

•          Red = not that important.

Recognise

•          When you are avoiding doing something you want to do.

•          Jumping from one idea to the next.

Be Mindful of Rumination

Stop. Take some time to notice your thoughts. Try naming them, like here is a worry thought, here is a planning thought; then let them drift by.

•          Practicing mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment  

              without getting caught in your thoughts.  

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way;

on purpose, in the present moment,

and nonjudgmentally.”

~Jon Kabat-Zinn

Stop! Stop! Stop!

Use this CBT technique to interrupt your thoughts by saying STOP! STOP! STOP! out loud.

Distraction

Try distracting yourself by doing something that takes your mind off the repetitive thoughts.

Like

•    Walking and noticing your surroundings or if you having t stay in then be mindful of what you are doing like washing the dishes.

•    Your favourite hobby

Choose a Time

If you have to worry, than set aside, say, 10 minutes to worry.  The rest of the day remind yourself consciously “this is not my time to worry about this”.

Breathe

Use a focused breath like the 5/7 breathing technique…

breath in slowly through the nose to a count of five then out through the nose to a count of seven. Repeat this for 5 minutes.

All or Nothing Thinking

Or thinking in black and white terms.

Like

  • “It’s always been this way, nothing will change”
  • “I am a terrible person”
  • “I’m a failure”

Try and recognise the messages you are saying to yourself, then look for an alternative way of thinking about the situation that’s more positive.

Forgive Yourself

You can carry on beating yourself up over something you did wrong or you can let it go and move on. You have a choice.

Visualisation

Imagine a pleasant scene or experience.  Close your eyes and play it in your mind like a movie. Connect with all the senses like colour, sound, smell and most important, feelings.

General Tips

  • Engage in activities that foster positive thoughts.
  • Control – Is the problem within your control? If not, nothing will be gained by agonising over how to change or control it. Think of ways to ‘manage’ it instead and how to work with the problem.
  • Make a list of the things that are bothering you. Then categorise your worries as to which ones you can actually do something about. Develop small, do-able action-based goals to tackle the problems where you can take action.
  • You are always going to feel better when you are taking concrete steps towards resolving problems as opposed to just worrying about them.
  • Have a favourite photo you can look at to remind yourself of the nice things in your life.
  • If you have to stay in the why not catch up on those jobs you have been putting off.
  • Spend time learning mediation to still the mind, you can download a recording here https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aUaXrz46RBVcmMhw6f52Ub49sI1cWVCT/view?usp=sharing

I have used Trevor before, I then moved out of the area so I decided to use Trevor's Phone/video service.  I could not believe how effective it was. No more travelling for me as I prefer this form of counselling saves so much time in travel.

Thank you so much for all your expert help and support over the last year. 

"I used Trevor for business coaching and was surprised by his array of  business knowledge. With Trevor's help I became more focused on  what direction I wanted my business to go."