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19th Oct 2020

Anxiety in the time of Covid

My walk down Buchanan Street last week was a vastly different experience to the last time I made it to the city center for a look round the shops in February. The style mile is a ghost town, it’s eerie and so quiet, not the enigmatic city I know and love. I miss the punky pipers, that quirky pan flute family and the guy who makes balloon animals outside of TGI’s. It’s hard to fathom how much our ‘normal’ lives have changed over the past six months. Just how much our routines, thoughts and feelings have been disrupted. Recently a friend of mine summed it up perfectly, ‘it’s the number of conscious decisions we have to make every day, it’s exhausting’. She is right.

Do I really need to go to the shops?’
What do I now need to consider before I leave my home? Where is my facemask!? Where is the handgel?!
Do I even want to leave my home?’
Don’t forget to keep two metres apart from people!!!
Can I hug someone?!

All these are now conscious decisions which used to be done without thinking. It is the subtle changes, they sneak up on you, chipping away at your daily resilience causing our anxiety to increase without us really knowing it.

You are not alone.

According to the Office of National Statistics between 20 and 30 March 2020 almost half of people reported high anxiety, a marked increase from the last quarter of 2019. Even as lockdowns became the norm, between 30 April and 10 May 2020 37% were reporting high levels of anxiety.

For this reason now, more than ever, taking care of our emotional wellbeing is vital.

We need to recognise the effect the last six months has had on our way of life. We need to respect ourselves enough to stop ‘coping’ and honour the impact on our emotional well being, specifically our feelings of anxiety.

Start small, diary in 10 minutes daily just for you.

Here are three suggestions on how you can take that time in your day to work with your anxiety.


Get outside, take a walk, run, cycle, even if it’s only for a brief period. Getting away from where you are can help reframe feelings. Plus physical movement can be a way for your body to release anxious energy from your body.


Take 10 minutes away from everyone to be with yourself. Breathe slowly and deeply and let whatever it is you are feeling just be. Acknowledge it’s there. Think about where in your body you feel the emotion. What does it feel like? Now, breathe into that space…slowly……now, breathe out…slowly…and repeat this process five times.


I’m a firm believer in the power of emotions leaving our bodies through words, either written or spoken. Talk to someone you trust or write about how you are feeling.

Always remember emotions are temporary and will pass. You will not feel like this forever.

What the future holds I can not tell, but, for now, it’s important that we all take steps to honour our emotional wellbeing.

Remember, whatever it is you are going through, you are not alone.


If you want to find out more you can visit my site, or follow me on instagram @annekabarrett_

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