A Therapist’s Guide to Finding Calm

Calm meditation and sleep app

We’ve definitely been feeling more anxious recently so we turned to a friend, Katya Orrell BPC, TSP, FPS 2020, who is a trained psychotherapist to give us some tips:

During this time of heightened stress and global anxiety relating to COVID-19 there are some simple techniques you can use if you or those who you might be self-isolating with develop symptoms of panic and want to find some reassurance.  Alongside balance with sleep/diet/exercise etc if you are struggling with depression, anxiety or relationship issues it might be helpful to consider some of the following EMDR GTEP techniques:

1. Ground yourself: this involves sitting in comfortable upright position in a chair and putting both feet flat on the floor and literally grounding yourself.
2. Breathe: try to extend your out breath, counting up to four as you breathe in and then up to six as you breathe out for a few minutes.
3. Taste: we often develop a dry mouth when we feel panicky and fight/flight hormones like cortisol kick in, try to imagine a lemon or else put your tongue on the top of your mouth, this stimulates the saliva glands immediately.
4. Tapping: ‘butterfly hug’ bi-lateral stimulation; if you cross your arms and tap alternate shoulders this activates the parasympathetic nervous system and is another method of self-soothing during times of stress.

If you already have a therapist, do suggest continuing your sessions by Zoom or FaceTime.  Alternatively  if you are looking for somebody to talk to, then you can contact a psychotherapist or psychoanalyst through the BPC register or get in touch with the London Clinic of Psychoanalysis.  If it’s a counsellor you need, then use the BACP website to find a counsellor in your area (or a Psychotherapist) or the Counselling Directory.  Alternatively, you could use an online resource such as Feelya.

There are also lots of calming apps available.  We particularly like Becalmed with Yoga Nidra which is great at helping you get to sleep.  Calm is the number one meditation and sleep app and is currently offering a free trial and Yin Yoga (you could try this Yin Yoga app) is highly recommended to help calm anxiety through controlled breathing.

Finding Calm
— Francesca
26th March 2020

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