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Reducing anxiety

April 20, 2020

Are You Feeling Anxiety about the Future?

Currently its hard not to be worrying about our future, a lot of older people report what are very realistic concerns about how their futures will be. Many people are experiencing a sense of shock, disbelief, fear and chaos.

The Common Worries people are reporting are:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of loved ones
  • Changes in sleeping or eating habits
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Social isolation and not being able to see loved ones
  • Worsening chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs including over the counter medications.


Woman suffering from stress or a headache grimacing in pain as she holds the back of her neck with her other hand to her temple, with copyspace

The Podcast

We can’t control how this virus is affecting the world, it is normal and natural to experience worry about it, and that can provide some justification to continue but risk over- worry, feeling overwhelmed or catastrophising.

There are some strategies we can use to minimise our reactions to it and not worry ourselves sick. This podcast by Dr Lucy Hone Research Psychologist provides some practical ways to manage our thinking and worry levels.

If there is to be a change in the Alert level, Please acquaint yourself with the  necessary information you need to make the right decisions within the restrictions.

If You Feel You Need Help

If you or someone you love is feeling overwhelmed with sadness, depression or anxiety that has continued for l2weeks, in a row or longer or if you feel you want to harm yourself. It is important you talk to someone, a family member, carer or Doctor either in person or through Telehealth.

If you would like to talk to a free Trained Counsellor Helpline 1737 free call or text . 

Or Lifeline -0800543 354 or free text 4357

Simple Sleep Tips

  • Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time in the morning. Try not to nap during the day this will upset your sleep routine, but if you must don’t nap for any longer than 15-20mins.
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing and at a comfortable temperature
  • Stop using electronic devices early in the evening, TV’s, computers, and smart phones from the bedrooms and replace these activities with some relaxing activities like quiet reading, listening to music.
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, try to avoid sleeping tablets
  • Get some exercise, particularly in the morning and take in sunlight, this is taken in through the eyes and helps set the body clock. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night

If you have done all this and you still can’t sleep…

  • Staying in bed worrying and getting upset about not sleeping or counting sheep won’t work.
  • Get up and do something quiet until you feel sleepy, the body goes through sleep cycles called Circadian Rhythms lasting 60-90mins, so if you get up it’s a bit like waiting for the next bus. An Adult over the age of 70yrs needs 7-8 hours’ sleep/night.
  • Keep a diary of your sleep habits for 10 days before visiting/discussing with the Doctor


How to you keep a Sleep Diary

  • What times you go to bed and get up
  • When you wake in the night
  • How many times you get up
  • How often and how long you take Naps
  • How much exercise you get
  • How often and honestly how much alcohol you drink?
  • How much coffee you drink?

Drowsy Driving

Warning Signs

Nodding off and having trouble keeping your head up

Yawning and blinking frequently

Difficulty remembering the past few kilometres driven

Missing your exit

Drifting from your lane

Hitting the rumble strip

Getting too close to nearby cars

Who is at Risk of Drowsy Driving?

If you don’t get enough sleep 7-8hrs/night over 70yrs old or take medications that can induce drowsiness or have an untreated sleep disorder such as snoring or sleep Apnoea (stopping breathing when asleep).

Your body needs adequate sleep on a daily basis. The more hours you miss, the harder it is to think and perform as well as you would like.  Lack of sleep can impair your ability to the same way as drinking too much alcohol.

  • Being awake 18hrs is the same as someone having a blood alcohol content of 0.05%
  • Even one night of sleep loss or poor sleep can put you at risk of drowsy driving but certain people have a higher risk than others.
  • Of note is that the aging body having a slower metabolism, and older organs can mean that alcohol consumed the previous night, can still be present in the body to the degree, that you can be over the legal limit even when you haven’t had much to drink.
  • Minimise risks by not travelling long distances, alone or late at night

If You experience the Warning Signs

Turning up the radio or opening the window won’t work

Pull over to a safe space, take 15-20min nap or change drivers.

Accidents are more likely to occur late at night of early in the morning

Listen now


Photo by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash