Viv Zicari is a counsellor, psychotherapist and empowerment therapist. Here she talks about the stress and anxiety caused by Covid

I BEGAN writing this article with two issues in mind. Namely, stress and anxiety.

Both are highly relevant to our Covid times.

As a therapist, I tend to break down the meaning and background of each issue a client presents.

This is to help them understand possible reasons why they feel the way they do, and to find resources or tools to manage them.

Understanding oneself goes a long way to dealing more effectively with an issue causing concern.

Was there a time when stress or anxiety did not figure in your life?

If so, how did you manage your life then?

Usually, clients will speak of stress, but when did this develop into anxiety?

A good way to reduce stress is to look at the following. It’s about owning the past and current situation, saying ‘This is where I am now, so what can I realistically do about it?’

Often the answer is, I cannot do anything.

Would treading water be applicable to current times?

Many of us have lost direction as that direction, it appears for the immediate future, is no longer feasible.

Does ‘creature of habit’ ring a bell, and have those taken-for-granted habits been taken away?

OK, so for the moment treading water is a probable answer.

There is no point getting stressed over something which may or may not return one day, and if it does it might appear in a completely different form.

Does treading water for now imply forever?

Anxiety would answer a resounding yes - it plays on our fears and stresses and below are some typical anxiety fears.

  • Covid is odourless. How do I know if I am in contact with someone who has Covid?
  • Being at home for so long, the outside world has turned into a scary place.
  • I trust me, but can I trust others?
  • It’s better to stay at home and stay safe.
  • I have or have had a life-threatening illness. I need to stay safe, but the outside world is not safe.

This is where owning your present is important to those of you experiencing anxiety symptoms related to Covid.

  • Have I put in place all I can to keep myself protected when outside?
  • If I wish to go out, but my anxiety is preventing this from happening, what small steps can I put in place?
  • What can I say to myself each day which will give me confidence to take those first steps?
  • I can never trust others to do the right thing. This means I will need to develop choices - I choose where I go and with whom.
  • If staying at home is a choice, then fine. However, if fear and anxiety is keeping me a prisoner in my own home, I am not in control.

It’s about small steps to take back control.

Any environment where many people are meeting would be a concern for those who have or have had a life-threatening illness.

However, only you know what you are capable of, so use your good judgment going forward.

Try asking what your goals are, and work on them.

Going forward, I welcome readers to put forward suggestions anonymously of topics they would like to be discussed in more detail.

I can be contacted via