How can you reduce anxiety related to the energy crisis?
Most people think about money when they think about the energy crisis, but you also need to think about yourself to survive.
Since 2020 and the pandemic, peoples’ anxiety has increased, and for some, that is now related to the energy crisis.
You only need to listen to the news as it is being talked about everywhere, in the UK and worldwide. Your first thought might be to unplug everything to save electricity. You might decide to ignore it and hope the problem will go away. Or if you are fortunate enough to have plenty of money to ride the crisis, you might get distracted away.
How is the energy crisis making you feel?
Some financially stable people may feel guilty or numb to what is happening around them. Alternatively, they may be worried about other people.
But if you are one of those people who are struggling financially, you might be going through many other negative feelings right now.
A crisis feels like a threat to your survival. So you start to worry about how you are going to survive. According to your support and financial and economic situation, these thoughts and emotions will be on a continuum.
Beliefs may play a part. For example, if you have a strong political view, you might feel angry about the current situation and how the government handles it. You might feel that the problems are in God’s hands if you have religious beliefs.
Distraction may play a part. For example, if you rarely watch the news on TV on don’t get involved in social media, you might have other feelings.
The number of responsibilities you have for others may be significant. If you are a pet lover and are worried about heating your vivarium or keeping a heated house for your children, any energy crisis may make you worry about paying the bill.
If you feel vulnerable, maybe because of a disability, difficulties getting work or the impact may be more substantial, resulting in frustration and feelings of hopelessness.
Most people want immediate practical support.
One way to look at this is to use Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs helps you to realise that the foundation stones of your life are the first things to address. So consider your physiological needs such as shelter, food and basics in life. Next, you need to consider your safety. Then you can address some of your emotional needs.
If you want to reduce your anxiety surrounding the energy crisis, here are five ways you can care for yourself.
So what can you control, and what can’t you control? Perhaps you feel that you need to do something to make people listen to your difficulties, but are you sure no one is listening?
Some people say that they will stop paying their increasing energy bills. But will that help your stress and anxiety levels in the future? Only you can decide on what you need to do but consider the consequences for you and possibly your family. One meaningful way forward when you can take control is to know your numbers and then make a budget. You can also control the amount of energy you use and other methods to keep warm in the winter, such as changing suppliers or using less energy.
Think about your thinking.
What are you telling yourself? Are you continuously telling yourself negative things that make you feel angry, upset or depressed? You can help the negative thinking by keeping a diary, writing down five things you are grateful for daily or talking about something you like to do.
Consider what you do now.
If you do the same every day, then you get the same. What are your options? Focus on long-term goals, not just what is happening today. You also need to consider yourself. Increasing activity is good. So go for a walk, partake in some exercise or sport, and do some hobbies.
You might even look at changing your job or supplementing your income.
Notice if you are continuing with any unnecessary spending.
Consider getting help. Learn what the Government says about the energy crisis and the help they offer. Find out more about the energy crisis from the Energy saving Trust,
If you feel stressed, try to reduce the things that make you feel stressed. Some things will be in your control although the cost of energy might not be, things can change for you.
Notice the things that you do that help. If you go for a walk in nature and feel better, then make a plan to go for more walks. Remember, alcohol or recreational drugs might feel like they are helping, but they can worsen things.
It’s also worth checking any medications you take with your doctor or pharmacist, as they may increase anxiety. But don’t stop medications before consulting with a healthcare practitioner first.
Get some professional help.
So if your problems are directly related to your energy bills, contact your energy provider and see if they can find a way to help. If it’s a financial problem, seek out experts that can help you. For example, talk to your bank or get some advice about benefits and grants from the Citizens Advice Bureau. If the problem is compounded by a relationship problem, get help from a counsellor (the National Health Service provides free counselling, although there may be a wait).
Finally, difficult times don’t last, so try to look forward to more optimistic times. Contact Linda at Awaken the Change for counselling, hypnotherapy and coaching if you need further emotional support.