Top 4 tips to help anxiety

It is very understandable – even expected –that you might be feeling anxious, depressed or even fearful about going outside and doing many of the things you took for granted before the Pandemic started.
The idea of returning to the wider world can feel even harder if you’ve got used to the safety of staying at home, especially if you had been asked to shield and have coped with it relatively well. Though it’s still important for everyone to do the things they are comfortable with, at their own pace, the benefits of getting outside and moving around, with some safe social interaction, should not be overlooked.
We all know the benefits of fresh air, sunlight and exercise, as well as seeing friends, colleagues and members of our local communities, for both general health and to make us feel happier. But the understanding of these benefits may well be overshadowed by the constant changes in the guidelines, stronger feelings of anxiety about our safety and what might happen once we venture out.
Recent reports on how to manage your worries suggest that rather than trying to fight these feelings, it can be helpful to take the opposite approach of noticing the feeling when it arises and accepting it, rather than trying to supress or fight it.

The following 4 exercises may be helpful:

  1. PAUSE
    Pause to take a few deep breaths. Then name the emotion you’re feeling, accepting that it’s present in this moment, but it will pass. You’ve most likely experienced these feelings before; reflect on past times you’ve felt anxious or worried and remind yourself they won’t last.
  2. WRITE
    Write a list of the things on your mind. It can be helpful to organise the thoughts that go around your head and put them on paper. You might find that those thoughts feel less overwhelming in black and white compared to thinking about them in your head.
  3. TALK
    Talk to someone you trust. Connect with family and friends via the phone or video calls. If you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, talk to someone you find to be supportive. Call the Paul Popham Fund Careline and talk to a trained Peer Mentor, a person with kidney disease or a carer who will understand.
  4. BE MINDFUL
    Try mindfulness-based practices. Anxiety and worry tend to be linked to things we’re afraid may happen in the future. Being mindful can help to focus our attention on the present moment.

Don’t forget that we, the Paul Popham Fund, are here for you. If you are feeling low, anxious or just want to talk to someone who understands call our Careline at any time to talk to a trained Peer Mentor. They will listen, offer emotional support for your mental well-being as well as offering lived experience as they too are people with kidney disease or carers. Our confidential Careline is available 9:00am-6:00pm 7 days a week. You can arrange to talk to a Peer Mentor outside these ours by calling the same number or email support@paulpophamfund.co.uk. If you are experiencing severe anxiety, are depressed or are generally not coping the charity also provides a counselling services which is available over the phone. To access this service, call the Careline number 0800 038 8989 or email support@paulpophamfund.co.uk. You can register for both services free of charge. Please ensure you include the following information in your email:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Please let us know if you’re are a kidney patient, carer or family member
  • An emergency contact – who do you want us to contact in an emergency?
  • Password – our staff member will say your chosen password at the start of every call, this is for confidentiality and to give you peace of mind, so you know you’re speaking to a Paul Popham Fund Peer Mentor or Paul Popham Fund Counsellor.

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