Kees Duson

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, like a worry or fear, that we get as a perfectly natural response to difficult situations. Anxiety is something everyone experiences from time to time and it usually passes once the situation is over. Anxiety can make our heart race, we might feel sweaty, shaky or short of breath.

The Covid-19 outbreak is an extremely difficult situation; most people are feeling increased levels of anxiety as we try and manage our concerns and our thoughts and feelings during this challenging, uncertain time. It's important to remember it is OK to feel this way. Remember, this situation is temporary and, for most of us, these difficult feelings will pass.

However, when anxiety becomes severe, our worries can be out of proportion and become hard to control and resulting in intense or overwhelming feelings. These feelings can interfere with our everyday lives and relationships and our behaviour may change as we become more anxious we tend to withdraw and avoid things that trigger our anxiety.

If your anxiety is affecting your daily life and causing you distress, you could consider seeking further support by contacting your GP.

Alternatively, please contact Killaloe/Ballina Family Resource Centre if you are feeling overwhelmed and you need to talk to someone. Tel: 086-0570609, email us at or contact one of the services listed below.


Urgent Support Links

Do you need to talk to someone right now? 24-hour supports (any time day or night)

SamaritansEmotional support to anyone in distress or struggling to cope (any time, day or night)
Phone Service or Email
Freephone 116 123 or Email
Pieta HouseTelephone and text-based support for people who are suicidal or engaging in self-harm, or bereaved by suicide (any time, day or night)Freephone 1800 247 247 or text HELP to 51444 (standard message rates apply)
Women's AidSupport around domestic violence. Call them today to talk to one of their Helpline workers (any time, day or night). If you are you in immediate danger ring your local Garda Station Garda Station Directory or in an emergency, call 999/112Freephone 1800 341 900 Information for young people on many different topics, including mental health. Chat to a trained volunteer on their anonymous, 24/7 text line.Text SPUNOUT to 086 1800 280
(Standard SMS rates may apply)



Write down your feelings

To help you understand your anxiety you could keep a diary or a record of what you are doing day to day and note how you feel at different times. This will help you identify what's affecting you and what you need to take action on.

Challenge anxious thoughts

Try and be more aware of your thoughts. When you have an anxious thought it will help to ‘catch’ it and think about how you can change it to a more positive one. Controlling unhelpful, negative thoughts is one of the best things we can do to feel less anxious.

Make time for worries

Rather than spending the whole day worrying, try and set aside a time in the day when you can make time to look at your concerns.

Use this time to write down your worries and plan what steps you can do to change each one. This can help in several ways, it helps get worrying thoughts out of your head onto paper, you will become more aware of your thoughts and may be able to see them from a different angle and thinking about and planning solutions will give you a sense of control and focus.

Do something you enjoy

Change your focus by doing something you enjoy that helps you feel calm and relaxed and helps you switch -off from anxious thoughts. This could be anything from doing something creative, gardening, having a soak in the bath, baking…. whatever is good for you. Many people also find relaxation, mindfulness or breathing exercises helpful as they reduce tension and focus our awareness on the present moment.

Talk to someone you trust

Talk about how you are feeling with a trusted friend or family member, someone who you have found to be supportive and who will listen to your concerns and someone who you can touch base with over the coming weeks.

Find support

There is a lot of information on-line, the links we have included in this post might help you to understand more about your anxiety and you might find some useful information on taking steps to reduce anxiety and learn to cope better in worrying situations.


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