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OPINION: Don't panic as restrictions ease, do things at your own pace

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One of the most useful facts I learned when I trained as a psychotherapist was that only eight per cent of what makes us anxious is worth worrying about. This is a very helpful piece of information to remember – especially at the moment when lots of people have got simmering anxiety.

Let me tell you about a friend I’m going to call Jane, who’s a sensible and lovely woman in her 50s.

Recently, her sister, who lives 65 miles from her, emailed with an invitation to supper. She said that both children were home from university and would love to see their aunt – so why didn’t Jane come over, stay the night and enjoy the sort of family evening that was long overdue.

Like many of us, Jane had really missed face-to-face contact with her family for the past 16 months, and yet this message filled her with terror.

"Honestly," she told me on the phone later, "I was like Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army. I was jumping up and down. In fact, I think I even shouted at myself, 'Don’t Panic!' I knew I was being ridiculous but couldn’t seem to help myself. A large part of me wanted to visit my sister and niece and nephew, but even........

© Eastern Daily Press

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