It might sound silly, but I am worried that the virus will target me and my family specifically. All the time I cannot shake off the feeling, I cannot sleep properly, and every cough or sneeze makes me panic. I think it will make us all ill, or worse, and that thing will be terrible for us. How can I start to think more logically about things?

Let’s be clear about one thing from the outset – your thoughts and fears aren’t foolish at all, far from it! Given the current situation it is understandable that you are concerned about contracting the virus. Most are. Let’s look at some solutions for you. Firstly, it’s important to follow the rules. The authorities are asking us to play our part to resolve the problem, and that’s exactly what we should do. However, this doesn’t mean you should become obsessed by the pandemic and the risks. It’s important to be well informed, but please don’t stray into becoming obsessed. Social media and 24-hour news can be a double-edged sword! Secondly, try keeping an anxiety diary. Each time you worry about your health or check your body for any kind of illnesses, make a quick note of it in your diary. After a week or two, you’ll get a clearer picture of your behaviour. Also, try adopting a more positive outlook on your health. This way your mood will rise and you’ll be able to think logically at last.

Although I have always been a person who gets stressed easily, since the start of the pandemic I have started feeling overwhelmed by stress. My husband says I need to “go with the flow and chill”, but this makes me angrier. Help!

Start by making your unhelpful thoughts unwelcome. The way we think directly affects the way we feel. You see, our thoughts, feelings and behaviours continually rub and bounce against each other. Therefore, it’s easy to develop negative patterns where unhelpful thoughts lead to unhelpful feelings and in turn unhelpful actions. Over time this can lead to an unhealthy, vicious thought-cycle developing. The simplest way to deal with these unhelpful thoughts is to learn how to recognise them, challenge them and see if you can replace them with something positive. This takes time to master, however, with practice you do it. Next tip is to become more active. Getting some high-energy exercise will instantly help you to burn off some of your anger and stress.