If you are reading this blog and struggling with the new lockdown announcement - you are not alone. We're not living in usual times and it's normal to feel anxious, overwhelmed and wondering how you're going to cope. Read on to find out how to manage your anxiety now, and how NLMT can help you beat your anxiety for good.
How to ground yourself when you feel anxious
This tweet sums it up perfectly. Your efforts to keep yourself and others safe during the pandemic means that others stayed alive and well. Doing the right thing at the moment means staying at home, keeping everyone safe and looking after yourself - whatever that means for you:
Spend time doing things you like. This might be something healthy like exercise, or it might be watching box sets and wearing pyjamas all day. Both are good.
Spend time doing things that make you feel good, as in things where you look after yourself. Cooking. A bath and a face mask (the fun kind of face mask). Changing the bedding. Going for a long walk. On that note:
Get outside - look at the sky. We do have to stay at home most of the time, but if there’s anything we learnt from last time it’s that a change of scenery can often do the world of good. This time there’s no limits on how much exercise you can take outdoors, and research shows that being in nature can actually alleviate symptoms of mild to moderate depression.
Breath work exercise. Sit on a chair with your back supported and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on your abdomen. As you breathe in, imagine your abdomen as a balloon, filling with air - feel it expand as you breathe in. Hold for a couple of seconds. As you breathe out, imagine the air being let out of the balloon - feel your abdomen contract. Perform these deep breaths slowly and gently for a few cycles. It should never feel like you’re straining; instead, it should feel like you’re constantly returning to the centre of yourself.
We're here for you
If you're at the point where you want to beat your anxiety for good and get to the root cause of what's going on for you, especially if you're into the idea of exploring this creatively - get in touch with us.
We specialise in music for mental health. All NLMT therapists are trained to Masters level in Music Therapy and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. We took extra training in Psychological First Aid during the first lockdown and are experienced in working with trauma. Here’s how we can help:
For you, if you’re struggling with your mental health: we offer short- and long-term online music therapy, via WhatsApp (audio only) or Zoom (video and audio). Our service is so highly regarded that we train other music therapists to run online services using our methods. If you need music therapy with NLMT, get access here.
For key workers: our free Phone Support Service is still running. We provide an acute listening ear for anyone in the NHS or education sectors who needs someone to talk to now. The Service was nominated for an Advancing Health ESTEEM Award for our speed in setting up and our excellent quality of service. Refer yourself or a colleague to our service here.
For professionals: our online conference takes place on Saturday 14th November, 9-5pm. Music in Mental Health: A Creative Response features NHS COVID doctors, music therapists from the UK and US and perspectives from clinical neuropsychology and psychotherapy - we’re talking about mental health, trauma and innovative practices helping those most in need now. If you can’t attend for the whole day, recordings will be made available to all ticket holders after the event. More info and tickets here.
A final note
During this pandemic, we’ve been working with people and families at times of crisis. We’re going to continue this work throughout this next lockdown and beyond. From a parent whose daughter we helped:
Thank you, North London Music Therapy, for the work you’ve done with our daughter, which got us all through a very difficult time. I know she found the sessions enjoyable and rewarding and they made a tremendous difference, helping her to express her feelings, her concerns and her worries. She was very resistant to seeing anyone or going anywhere – making music was the key to getting her interested and your flexibility about seeing her online made it possible. Thank you for creating a bit of space for her to express herself.