Feeling anxious? Here's how the experts calm their nerves

As we prepare to go into Level 5 restrictions after Christmas, it's natural to feel anxious or worried. Who better to take advice from than trusted healthcare professionals? Here's how they deal with anxiety
Feeling anxious? Here's how the experts calm their nerves

We asked the experts how they deal with their own anxiety during these turbulent times

Joanna Fortune, Clinical Psychotherapist

Joanna Fortune
Joanna Fortune

To re-set our anxious brains we must change the field of vision. This means put down the phone and look out of a window. While looking out the window find five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can touch, three things you can smell and one thing you can taste. This is a sensory countdown while changing the field of vision and has a calming and grounding effect on our anxious brains.

solamh.com


Phil Kiernan, GP

 Dr. Phil Kieran. Picture Dan Linehan
Dr. Phil Kieran. Picture Dan Linehan

With the news recommending increase to level 5 restrictions its easy to feel overwhelmed. During this whole pandemic is has been very easy to lose sight of what is in our control and what is not. By keeping my social circle small and being extra cautious with hand sanitiser I know the risk to me and the risk of me transmitting to my patients is very low. I also find myself repeating a quote which got me through some other very tough times in my life which is "This too shall pass."

washingtonstreetmedical.com

Eddie Murphy, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Eddie Murphy who is part of the Operation Transformation team.
Dr. Eddie Murphy who is part of the Operation Transformation team.

My tip to de-stress would be to get out in nature. I find getting out for some fresh air to be a great way to clear my head. Walking my dog, Sam is the best way I know to clear my head; I always feel calm and centred afterwards.

dreddiemurphy.com

Conor Kerley, Registered Dietician

Conor Kerley, Registered Dietician
Conor Kerley, Registered Dietician

I exercise daily and get to bed in a cool, dark bedroom well before midnight. I find exercise - from a walk to the gym to playing sport - all really take my mind off life! As for sleep, sleep is so important for all aspects of health but often overlook and under-appreciated.

Emergency medicine doctor and former Munster rugby star Tom Gleeson with his wife Wailam and daughter Ellura.
Emergency medicine doctor and former Munster rugby star Tom Gleeson with his wife Wailam and daughter Ellura.

Tom Gleeson, GP trainee

I try to not look at too much social media as a lot of it tends to sensational in nature and creates unnecessary angst amongst the public. It's also very contradictory as everyone seems to have a say these days with social media! I take it all with a pinch of salt and try to give much thought to it all. I just try to control what I can control on a daily basis and not stress about the other stuff!

Lisa Ní Chuinnegáin Guthrie, Emergency Medicine Doctor 


I’ve spoken to lots of different area healthcare workers and the feeling of overwhelm is what is apparent. Overwhelm with everything we have gone through with no lockdown or pause to process what has gone on. Now facing into a winter with lockdown and the annual grip-in-the-chest of winter coming - our overwhelm is at an all-time high. 

Let's get a handle on it now before the psychological symptoms make us physically unwell. (again, in some cases) My one tip is to please look at CBT services/psychological first aid/ mental health services to prep yourself. Do it now. Some are available for free in hospitals to staff (employer assistance programme) Others are resources that I’ve gotten from fantastic reputable Instagram accounts (@themindgym) I never noticed these posters or resources until I needed them. Take note and talk to colleagues, encourage each other to avail of these, share them and make it less taboo in our workplace.

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