Coping With Our ‘New Normal’

This article is from Cathy Andrews, an integrative therapist at the Herts MS Therapy Centre… she has also completed the London Marathon for our charity!  If you visit our Centre, you probably know her. Cathy writes:

Being an integrative therapist means I’m able to use a combination of therapies, these include Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Coaching and Counselling.

As everyone is unique, I believe that what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, so I work with my clients to find the right therapeutic tools and approaches to fit their individual needs.

The current coronavirus pandemic has made this a time of uncertainty and many people are feeling fearful and overwhelmed. Normal lives have been turned upside down and we are all struggling on some level to deal with the anxious feelings we are experiencing. Anxiety is our mind and body’s natural “fight or flight” response which was great when we had wild animals chasing us many, many years ago, but not so good in modern times.

You may never get rid of fear entirely, but you can learn how to handle anxiety so that it doesn’t control your life. Here are three tips you can use for when you start to feel overwhelmed and anxious.

#1. Box Breathing.
This is a simple technique that relaxes the body and calms the mind.

  • Close your eyes and breathe in slowly for the count of 4 through your nose. Feel your lungs filling up as you do so.
  • Hold your breath and slowly count to 4.
  • Slowly exhale for the count of 4.
  • Hold and slowly count to 4.

Repeat this for a few minutes or longer if necessary, until you feel a sense of calm in your mind and body.

#2. Have a Brain Dump.
Get yourself a piece of paper and a pen and write down all the worries and fears that are going around in your mind.

This helps remove the emotions attached to the thoughts and thus calms the mind and the body. It’s like sharing a problem with a friend, where you feel better afterwards.

You are clearing the mental clutter in your mind rather than letting it build up. You could also buy yourself a journal and practise this daily.

#3. Grounding.
This is good for when you feel really overwhelmed.

  • Look around you and notice 5 things you can see.
  • Then listen and notice 4 different sounds.
  • Then touch 3 different things.
  • Then notice 2 things you can smell.
  • And lastly notice what you can taste.

This takes you away from the overwhelmed state and brings you into the moment. I hope these techniques can be of use to you, stay safe.

Cathy Andrews, member of the GHR and a good friend of HMSTC.

To find out more, please email Cathy or call her on 07855 803701.

You can also get great tips from Cathy’s Facebook page.