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Managing Anxiety around COVID-19: Try an Apple a Day

At the moment, we’re all probably feeling some level of anxiety around uncertainty. When we don’t feel like we have control of a situation, it is normal to feel uneasiness. As part of that, we wanted to share with you a simple technique to manage this kind of anxiety.

Is there something specific causing you to worry right now? It might be useful for you to think of that and go through the technique step-by-step. If there is nothing specific you can think of then that’s fine! Going through the APPLE technique can also help with general feelings of uneasiness and anxiousness.

Try to focus on one step at a time – and go at a pace that suits you. You can also download this as a full infographic here.




Acknowledge: Notice and acknowledge the uncertainty as it comes to mind. 




Pause: Don’t react as you normally do. Don’t react at all. Pause and breathe. 



Pull back: Tell yourself this is just the worry talking, and this apparent need for certainty is not helpful and not necessary. It is only a thought or feeling. Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are not statements or facts. 


Let go: Let go of the thought or feeling. It will pass. You don’t have to respond to them. You might imagine them floating away in a bubble or cloud. 


Explore: Explore the present moment, because right now, in this moment, all is well. Notice your breathing and the sensations of your breathing. Notice the ground beneath you. Look around and notice what you see, what you hear, what you can touch, what you can smell. Right now. Then shift your focus of attention to something else – on what you need to do, on what you were doing before you noticed the worry, or do something else – mindfully with your full attention.


How did you find that? Easy? Hard?

In the same way we might use weight training to strengthen our muscles and tone our bodies, we can use techniques to exercise our mind. Neuroscience tells us that the more we practice those exercises, the more natural it becomes – so don’t worry if you found it hard to slow down and go through the APPLE, just save it and give it a go another time when you need it. Download it here.


For more information about Coronavirus and looking after your wellbeing click here:

If you would like more information about anxiety have a look at our page in Mind’s A-Z of mental health.


If you would like to talk to someone about your worries, below are helplines run by Anxiety UK and NoPanic:


Anxiety UK  

Helpline: 03444 775 774 

Text Service: 07537 416 905 

Monday – Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm (excluding Bank Holidays). 

COVID-19 specific:

“During the coronavirus pandemic, we will be extending our helpline hours to provide additional support in the evenings until 10pm and over the weekend between 10am -8pm so that we can offer support to as many people as possible who need our help.” 

Webinars and support groups also available. 



Helpline: 0844 967 4848 

Email: [email protected] 

Everyday – 10:00am – 10pm 


By Blake Fontaine. This article has been adapted from: A Mindful Response to Thoughts, © Carol Vivyan 2016,

Posted on: 3rd April 2020

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