Focussing on what you can control

In the last section we looked at how to cope with the things you can’t control. The rest of this guide looks at the things you can control, and will look in particular at strategies for dealing with the symptoms of anxiety, and tackle the challenges you face head on with problem-solving techniques.

The factors that are in your control vary from situation to situation, but there are some common things all of us can work on to help us be in a good position to cope with the stresses of life:

Healthy habits

We feel stress and anxious more keenly when we’re tired and we’re not eating properly. These of course are common symptoms of stress itself, so it’s important not to blame yourself too much if you feel like you’ve slipped from your healthy habits because of the stress you’re dealing with.

Still, if we try to eat healthily where we can, and stay active, we can put our bodies in the best position possible to deal with stress. The next section looks at what you can do to stay active, even if you lead a busy life or don’t have much time to get out of the house.

Daily routines

Having a routine for yourself can create a sense of structure and is a good way to tackle stress and feelings of uncertainty. A routine is important for giving yourself time to practice self-care (explained in a later section), as well as the important relaxation techniques that can help you when things feel overwhelming.

Setting Goals

Setting goals and achieving them gives a sense of control and purpose. Think about something you would like to achieve over the next few weeks and how you can achieve it. There may be a number of things you want or need to do that you can still do at home, it could be watching a film, reading a book or learning something online.

You could have multiple goals across a range of areas including social and family interactions, physical or personal development.

Support from others

It’s important to remember that there may be a number of friends or family members who can help you if you’re finding things challenging. They might be able to offer practical support, financial support, or even just a listening ear so that you can talk through your worries with them. They can be especially useful if you want to engage in some problem-solving (see the later section on this).