Coping with anxiety and stress through COVID

Many of us have been impacted by the enormity of COVID it can be really stressful.
Simple things like: 
• Where am I getting the next pay packet from?
• How do I pay for the groceries this week?
• Car rego is due next month?  How do we pay for this?
• How am I going to find a new job? 
Prior to Covid,  I’d say our families life was pretty good. Weren’t rich but we weren’t poor either – living comfortably, I’d say. Well hasn’t that changed dramatically over the last few months!?  We’re in Stage 4 of Lockdown, our two kids are at home every day schooling (if not schooling on their devices, but that’s a whole other topic!), our income as a family has been reduced and then there’s the stress and anxiety of not knowing what the hell the future looks like.
I needed some ideas on how to support my family during this time and cope with the added stress, so I went to my good friend Richard Maloney from Quality Minds for some answers.  Richard has been coaching professional athletes for some 15 years on strategies and techniques to cope with different situations and to improve resilience and wellbeing. He also has a new book that’s just been released “Stress Free – How to thrive under pressure in unprecedented times” so there’s no better person to help provide some answers for all of us.
When I spoke to Richard he made mention that sadly there has been a significant increase in attempted suicides over the past few months, so it’s really important to appreciate the impact of COVID is different for everyone.  Now more than ever it’s important to consider ways to reduce our stress and build resilience. 
Most importantly Richard suggests when waking up in the morning it’s great to have a good structure mentally for what’s going to happen that day.  Whilst maintaining some type of structure he also suggested that trying to have a laugh along the way is great for our minds.
Richard went on to explain how stress can build if you let it, and that when we develop bad habits over time we need to be able to break them.  Changing habits in how you are thinking can help with anxiety. 
One really great way Richard suggested to help with managing stress and anxiety is walking meditations.  If you’re not into the normal meditation then maybe the walking one is one you could consider.  Rich has been working with professional athletes for years and has encouraged most of them to have meditation as a part of their programs and has had much success.  To assist, he has developed an App that you can download for free – Quality Mind Global – Mind Mentor. You can find the Walking Meditations on this app also. He has also created an online forum for men who can reach out to likeminded fellas who may need some help through the current climate called Blokes United.  It has the likes of Barry Hall and Sean Higgins as members and in a very short space of time has grown to over 11,000 members.
So if you are struggling at the moment remember there is always help available. The likes of Lifeline or Beyond Blue are a few of many organisations out there to help support us with what we are all going through.
Stay safe everyone.

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