Making mindful and healthy choices
By Lindsay Perlman, Clinical Psychologist (Infocus Psychology)
We have been bombarded by countless articles about COVID-19, some helpful and others less so. For many, these articles can trigger and/or heighten anxiety, fuel more worry, concern, panic and overall, have a tremendous impact on our general well-being and mood. Whilst I do think it is important to stay informed and engaged, it is recommended that the following is kept in mind –
• Being selective regarding the source of the articles – people will send you information from various sources, some more credible than others. Whilst it is tempting to try and gain as much knowledge and understanding as possible, it is important to be mindful of these sources and perhaps limit those which you feel are likely to instil more panic and fear.
• It is worth being mindful of what time of day one reads articles – for example, reading a distressing article first thing in the morning or before going to bed, can stir you up thus creating stress which can impact on the way you approach your day and also can interfere with how you sleep at night. So keeping these times to more neutral points during the day may be helpful and have a less detrimental effect on your mood.
• Before reading any COVID-19 material, I suggest that it is a good idea to check into ourselves, that is, to tune into our thoughts and feelings as well as general anxiety level. If you feel more stressed at one point during the day, I recommend delay (or don’t) reading the material and instead engage in an activity that can lift/boost your mood. For example, listening to an interesting podcast, making a cup of tea and sitting outside. Doing so can help mitigate one falling into an anxiety/depression spiral.
It is worth considering that it may be more helpful both for you and your families to limit the reading to content that is going to benefit you directly. In the next article, I will be covering easy things to boost your mood and lower your anxiety.