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Anxiety and Stress This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Everglow. Offline
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Name: Hollie
Age: 26
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Covid anxiety - June 17th 2020, 10:02 PM

Hey, I'm not sure what I'm expecting here but a different perspective might help.

I live in the UK and during the lockdown here we've had a furlough scheme whereby the government have paid 80% of wages while we've been out of work. Which is great because it's meant that for 3 months I haven't had to commute to and from work. On Sunday, my work are having me start again. I work in an opticians so social distancing is hard because we have to take measurements from customers, they're trying frames on all day and I can't avoid coming into contact with people. We're very clean and we sanitize all the time but before lockdown I was washing my hands so often I gave myself a really bad skin irritation which took about 6 weeks to heal and left my hands literally cracking and bleeding. I also found that the last weekend of work before lockdown I couldn't breathe well. I felt constantly panicky, my heartrate was through the roof and I felt like I was suffocating for about 2 weeks straight and it was horrible. Anyone who's seen my blogs and everything know that it was really hard for me and I wasn't coping well at all. Lockdown helped and my anxiety levels went more or less back to normal.

Anyway, because I'm going back to work I'm worried it'll get worse again. I'm going to be at a closer store temporarily so there's less travel involved, but I don't want to get back into that state of mind. Breathing exercises didn't help because it reminded me of how much I felt like I couldn't breathe, and talking didn't seem to do the trick because people have opinions. The only person who really got it, i won't be working with at the other store and she is still on furlough, so I don't have that support network this time.

Sorry, this is longer than I wanted. But basically if anyone has any advice on how I can manage this anxiety I'd appreciate it. I've coped with anxiety for years without much intervention but because of how huge this all is I'm finding this part really hard.


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  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Covid anxiety - July 29th 2020, 03:28 AM

Hey Hollie,

I'm sorry I don't have much advice to offer but I wanted to let you know I read this and I can understand and I empathize that this all really sucks. I also work in an environment where it is impossible to social distance and it is terrifying.

I would suggest to reach out to a doctor and/or apply for some other jobs. A lot of professions, at least in the US, have become remote for a while so maybe there would be an opportunity like that?

Feel free to reach out if you need to chat!

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Re: Covid anxiety - July 29th 2020, 09:42 AM

Hi Hollie,

I am so sorry that you are having a hard time with this and hope that you will be okay soon. It is really great that the place that you have been working at is very clean, everyone should be the same. When we are working so much and washing our hands from our jobs and just doings that to be clean we also want to do our best to take care of ourselves too. Would you be able to buy some lotion and have it on you or in your purse, so that when you are done washing your hands you can put it on and this can help your hands. When our hands hurt it can be hard to focus on what we have to do, and when they are okay we can try to keep ourselves calm and keep doing what we have to do. Also if that doesn't work, I agree with up above try going to the doctor or calling them and let them know what is going on with you and hopefully they will be able to give you something to help you out.

When you are having a hard time, try looking out the window and count the cars or people or flowers that you see. If you have a little notebook that you can write in or draw or if you can get a fidget spinner and use that for a few to help calm you and hopefully you will be okay soon. I hope that you will be okay soon. Sending you hugs to help.

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Re: Covid anxiety - December 10th 2020, 10:26 PM

Hello Hollie

I also live in the UK and know just what an awful ride you went through, and the heartache of watching daily news of increasing covid infections and deaths. I so feel for you *Hugs* Keeping calm is the key; I'll be touching that shortly....

I love writing and using pencil in my notebook or journal is so pleasureful because unlike pens, graphite pencils glide across paper in a silky, mood-lifting way. Or a favourite fountain pen. Making scrapbooks is helpful as it tasking 'Instaprints' with a cheapie camera, like the old Polaroids.

I love jigsaw puzzles. Oh - and watching You Tube. Such as the adorable Emily Cricket talking to us about her 'happiness box'


I particularly like her Nerf Gun.

So, keeping calm is the key, but be specially vigilant for washing your hands even after handling postal mail, parcels etc. After opening, spray your hands and the scissors with a hand sanitizer. This comes so 2nd nature to me that I've long lost the anxiety that used to pervade my senses.

And taking exercise will greatly help lift anxiety because walking, or running or jogging if you are able, is the best exercise for lowering stress, boredom and worry.

You could do some relaxation exercises that are easy, and I hvae a goodun to share with you.

Relaxation Technique.

The key to deep breathing is to breathe deeply from your abdomen, getting as much fresh air as possible in your lungs. When we take deep breaths from the abdomen, rather than shallow breaths from our upper chest, we get to inhale more oxygen. The more oxygen we get, the less tense, short of breath, and anxious we feel.

Try this.

1. Sit comfy with a straight back.

2. Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little. That’s what I found.

3. Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles, like I did. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little, that’s what I found.

4. Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale. Slowly, after a few of these deep breaths, your anxiety begins melting away.

If you find it difficult breathing from your abdomen while sitting up, try lying down. Put a small book on your stomach, and breathe so that the book rises as you inhale and falls as you exhale. You can do this on your bed, or on a sofa.

Another method involves pets. Out of all the pets, cats have been scientifically proven to be the most relaxing animals. This, however, does not mean none of the other pets aren’t relaxing! When you have a pet, you can usually train it to be loyal. You can stroke it, comfort it, and be comforted by it.

I'm always around if you'd like to write. Pop by and leave me a message on my wall.

All my best,
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anxiety, covid

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