It comes in waves actually, that's what Iseem to have found with people, it's like, but something triggers it and you reallyfeel quite anxious.
Then other times, when you're distracted or you get a sense of perspective, it sort of calms down, but it's quite difficult to tell when you'regonna get the next surge of that.
Recognise that each day we're probablygoing to have to change our behaviours in a slightly different way from the daybefore.
The reason for those changes isfurther information, further knowledge and the more knowledge we have, the quicker we're going to get through this thing .
almost sort of see that as a positive, see that as movingforward, that we're going somewhere, that it's going to conclude.
This is going to end.
So if you health anxiety already and thatbasically means that for every little symptom you get, you blow into somethingelse or you think it's something more severe, or you're constantly Googling yoursymptoms – it's very easy to go to Dr Google.
The symptoms of coronavirus areactually quite similar to anxiety in some ways, I think that'sworth bearing in mind.
It's difficult to catch your breath, you feel like your chest is tightening you get those sort of pulsatingwaves through you.
That's what happens whenyou're overanxious.
Our cortisol levels, so that's our stresshormone, is on high all the time.
We're overdosing on cortisol and thatmakes us feel jittery and edgy and actually makes us feel more anxious, so let's, perhaps, some of the ways you can step down your cortisol, discourageit from overwhelming you.
Firstly, what we call a 'worry window'.
So, yeah, we're all tempted to goand look at everything on social media, get as much information aspossible because information is power, the more we know about it the more wefeel in control.
However, lots of stuff that's going outon social media is inaccurate or it's speculation or it's opinion, so give yourself a window of maybe an hour a day or half an hour at thebeginning, half an hour at the end of the day.
Things change fast.
Look at something when you know it has gonethrough a filtering process, it's not just somebody's opinion, it's based on somethingyou know that has more substance.
Secondly, I mean, the thingsthat we feel guilty about doing like watching distracting telly box sets, films, I mean if you are at home do it.
This is the one time in our lives whereyou can .
this is not a guilty pleasure anymore, it's just a pleasure.
We need to distract ourselves.
Even having a clear out, you know, the cupboards that you haven't done that you meant to do .
it's all about distracting yourselfand then absorbing, so you go from distraction to absorbing yourself intosomething so that actually you find yourself: “I haven't thought aboutit for the last half an hour”.
When you've got funny littlesymptoms that you just don't know, and they're going to internaliseand make you feel more anxious, tell a friend or tell a family memberbecause everyone is having something that doesn't feel right, that's whata nationwide or a global anxiety does for people.
We're all havinganything from sort of feeling like we can't quite catch our breath, to feelinglike itchy at times, to feeling that we, you know, our hearts are palpitating orthat we're sort of starting to sweat.
There are so many signs of anxiety.
99% of the time they will not be signsof coronavirus but they will be your body going into overdrive, the fight or flight syndrome.
I know it sounds boring but goingto bed at a regular time, exercise is really important, not drinking too much, these are all ways of containing the hormones adrenaline and cortisol that arethreatening to envelop us.
My advice for anybody that feels that itreally is painful in self isolation is to reach out, I mean there's a lot of thingsgoing on there's a lot of neighbor groups, there's Whatsapp groups, there'svarious things going on where people are learning to support each other either ina practical way or in an emotional way.
And you can do something else forsomeone else, usually there's a kind of I don't know, a generosity of spirit swap, ifyou like, so if someone can go into your shopping, you can do something else forthem.
Maybe you can have a conversation about how you can get somebody online.
It would be great to teach somebody, very simply, how they can communicate by video call or join a social media app like Facebook, so that they can connect with others.
Sharing something is one significantway of reducing anxiety.
So where we are at the moment withchanges happening fairly constantly, I think, and I'm feeling the anxiety too .
I'm a psychologist, I'm the one giving the advice, but actually I'm goingthrough, we're all in this together, and I'm feeling as anxious as anybody.
I think what I do recognise in people, and what you may be surprised to find in yourself, is a reserve of resilience, and eachday that something different happens and our behaviours have to change, that resilience gets stronger so that develops our coping mechanisms.
We're never going to look forward to it as achallenge but we are gonna go into the next day knowing that we're able to cope, and that's the really importanttake away for the moment.