Things have changed very quickly for many of us in the past few weeks and coping with anxiety (and even feelings of panic) is something we’re having to get used to.
Firstly, please let us stress that you’re absolutely not alone. Everyone will be feeling similar worries during these uncertain times. Don’t see it as a poor reflection on yourself if you’re finding things difficult, it’s all a lot to take in.
Some of you may still be working as crew, but for many of you life will have been put on hold with fleets being temporarily grounded.
You may have started your time in self isolation full of energy and resolve. Setting yourself goals of sticking to a routine, doing daily workouts, learning something new or taking that online course you’ve always dreamed of.
This is great, and hold on to these dreams. But don’t beat yourself up if you find it hard to stick to your routine. Or if your productivity flags in these first few weeks! Be kind to yourself and allow yourself a chance to take everything in.
You don’t need the added anxiety of feeling like you’re not ‘keeping up’! There will be plenty of time in the weeks to come to re-establish your schedule, and re-prioritise your goals.
Don’t compare yourself to others, especially not on social media! Everyone has different coping methods, and as with everything in the world of Facebook and Instagram what you’re seeing may not be a true reflection of what’s actually going on.
Here are our top tips for coping with anxiety:
- Limit your time online reading news. It’s good to stay informed, but obsessively scrolling through news stories (especially the misinformation and scaremongering that goes on sometimes on social media) will not do you any good.
- Stay connected with family and friends. A phone call, a video call or a message can make a big difference to your (or someone else’s) day.
- If you need to rest, rest. Don’t feel guilty for grabbing a catnap in the middle of the day. At times of stress a natural response of our body is to feel tired.
- Try some meditation – yes we know, this is what EVERYBODY advises and it’s easier said than done. But start off small, maybe with an app like Headspace. If you feel it’s not for you that’s absolutely fine, but many people find that even a story time meditating can help.
- If you feel like you’re panicking, ground yourself by distracting your mind. Speak out loud and name the five things closest to you, five red things you can see, five adjectives to describe your pet even! It may sound a bit strange but it really works.
- Now, more than ever, avoid people in your life who are negative or toxic. Have a doom-mongering WhatsApp group? Mute them, or leave the group. You simply don’t need the added stress.
- Try to do a small amount of physical activity a day in these first few weeks of self-isolation. We don’t mean a workout – even clearing out that overfilled cupboard you’ve been ignoring or giving your home a quick tidy or clean.
Remember that Cabin Crew are known for their ability to keep calm and carry on, and that people will fly again, and travel again once this is over.
People will want to see relatives and friends they’ve been separated from. And importantly, peoples attitudes will have changed. They will be likely to take more opportunities when they can to see the world. And you’ll be there to keep them safe in the skies as Cabin Crew, like always!
Here are a list of useful numbers and sites if you need some advice or a friendly ear:
Anxiety UK 03444 775 774
CALM (for men struggling with their feelings) 0800 58 58 58
Samaritans 116 123
And this is a useful article for those worried about their rights and finances here.