Three steps to manage anxiety in uncertain times

You're not alone if you're feeling anxiety now. Here's the best coping strategies to manage it.

Sharon Pearson's video shoot about how to manage anxiety in uncertain times didn't get off to a flying start. Filming at her beach house in self isolation, she found one of her dogs was a distraction.

"She's staring at me as if she's anxious," said Sharon.

"Maybe I'm not so good at this as I thought I was!"

The founder of The Coaching Institute definitely is, reeling off three ways to manage anxiety now amid a pandemic which Sharon admits left even her unsettled for five days.

First thing to know? It's totally normal to be hitting the panic button now. In fact, it's ingrained in our DNA.

"Anxiety in uncertain times is to be expected. It's part of the human condition. It's how we're wired," says Sharon.

"What is not healthy is to have that continue day after day so it becomes the default position."

Here's how to reset:

As Sharon says, the flight or fight response is wired in us but it needs to translate into acceptance or you'll become a hostage to your own fear.

The first step to manage anxiety in uncertain times is to assess your immediate situation.

"Ask, is red alert really called for right now?" says Sharon.

"I'm in my home. I'm safe. I've sanitised my hands. I'm not letting people into my home unless they're family or they live with me. There's no physical danger in this moment.

"So to stay at red alert or DEFCON 5 can be unhealthy. It can weaken the heart, it increases blood pressure and it can lessen longevity."

The second step to flip "from lizard brain to cognition" is to stop feeling as if your reaction is reality.

That means getting proactive. Organise your work space. Do a great project with the kids. Anything that gives you focus and a recalibration about your situation.

The third step: How do you gauge where you're at?

You need to ask if you're demonstrating self care and how you're connecting with those around you.

Check in with yourself and see if you're calm around children. If you're having reasoned conversations and navigating proactively what you're going to do next.

"They're all the hallmarks of somebody managing their minds," says Sharon.

"We have the capability and the wonderful gift of our minds. We are the only species on the planet capable of this level of dexterity with our minds and this level of adaptability.

"It's truly a prized gift to be treasured and utilised."

Are you feeling calmer? Next time you need to manage anxiety, follow Sharon's three steps—let us know how you go.

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