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    Anxiety Article

    How have I dealt with lockdown?
    I have been meaning to restart the anxiety articles since school opened back in September; in all honesty I have been feeling quite overwhelmed and feel that there is so much to say yet so hard to actually say it all. It is only recently that I have been able to put together this article and explain how I dealt with lockdown as it was definitely a hard experience that we all had to go through.

    I can definitely say without doubt that 2020 has definitely been a huge roller coaster and has had a serious impact on so many of our mental healths. It is mostly likely that we were hugely affected first when the government called for a national lockdown in March. Having never experienced anything like this most of us were left in shock, panic and confusion.

    For me lockdown triggered anxiety and fear and the beginning was particularly hard. For many, the lockdown came as a huge shock and impacted us in many ways. Whether that was being told your exams were cancelled or being told you couldn't go to work it affected all of us hugely. However, one huge benefit for me during lockdown was seeing mental health being spoken about so much more online. Personally I spent a lot of time seeing videos and reading blog posts about other’s experiences of lockdown which really helped me feel less lonely.

     

    My Tool Kit
    Some days definitely seemed impossible to get through. The hardest things were hearing alarming messages on the news, hearing about people who may have been hugely affected or perhaps just feeling extremely isolated at home. After facing many ‘down days’ during lockdown I decided to come up with a tool kit to help me tackle anxiety and calm down on the very hard days. This is a small list of some of the things I did to create a more positive mindset and help myself feel better:

    • The news really felt daunting at times from hearing about the new death tolls to all the extremely scary global events that took place during lockdown. Therefore I decided to turn off social media and stay away from the news for a while especially when it felt very overwhelming.
    • Given that I had so much time with my family during lockdown I decided to make sure I did activities with my siblings and parents in order to keep positive. This included cooking with my mum, baking with my sister and also playing rather boring games with my brother! Although this sounds very simple it definitely helped keep me distracted.
    • Finally I allowed myself to accept all the bad days. I think it was really important to have some days full of tears and let out all the overwhelming emotions from all that was happening. It really helped spending some time doing relaxing activities like having a bath, doing a yoga/mindfulness session, reading a book etc.

    Here are some of the many methods I used to help me feel better. It still may seem like there will never be closure to the craziness of 2020. Nevertheless, we must remain positive and know that we will come out of lockdown/2020 feeling much stronger. Regardless of everything that has happened this year we must remember everything we are thankful for and all the skills gained and lessons learnt from these strange times.

    I hope this article has helped you to realise that although all the recent events have caused us all a lot of stress in many different ways we can tackle them. I definitely suggest that if you are feeling very overwhelmed as we come out of the second lockdown to start by talking to someone about how you feel. It can be anyone who you will feel comfortable to talk to. For me it has recently helped me just by telling a friend “today has been really difficult” or “I'm feeling very overwhelmed.”

    I will be trying to add new articles fortnightly on the Friday News so please keep an eye out for further editions.

    Mahfuza 12LG07