Sometimes we find ourselves worrying about things that are out of our control. For the English Informer In France I was asked to write an article that focused on Brexit, the referendum on whether the UK will remain as part of the European Union or not. The article touches on some aspects of anxiety and what we can do to control it. You can find the original article here: http://www.englishinformerinfrance.com/full-article/Brexit-has-us-worried
Brexit has us worried
Dear Dr Jules
My husband and I are in our 60s and increasingly feeling worried about the Brexit vote in June. It feels like it is all we see on the news and all people are talking about. It could have a lot of major repercussions for us financially and otherwise, so we have started talking seriously about whether we should be making plans to move back to the UK. Any advice please?
Well I am sure this Brexit vote has a lot of people worried, not least those like yourselves who are already living in the European Union and relying on existing financial and other arrangements that could be subject to change.
But here’s the thing: there are situations in life we can control, and those we cannot. Politicians and their power games are beyond our control, as is the media, so I would strongly suggest you limit your daily dose of exposure to both. What can we control? Well we can exercise our democratic right to a vote, we can calmly make lists of contingency plans for each item such as pension rights that might change, and we can focus on what is enjoyable to us each day and then put our energy in that direction.
Anxiety is not the best state to live your life in, so it is important we don’t let it control us. Don’t over-estimate how responsible you are for the way things in life work out. Generally we make the best decisions we can based on the evidence available to us at the time, and at this point in time there is little evidence that is reliable for any of us over the Brexit situation. We can spend our lives worrying about ‘What ifs’ and not enough time enjoying what we have in front of us. So my suggestion is to enjoy the life you have made in France and if something happens that will force you to review that situation in future, then know that you are smart enough and resilient enough to figure it out when you have to.
If you are anxious and can’t see a way forward, then counselling can be helpful in providing support and a non-judgemental space to explore your options.
For more in-depth help and counselling, consider contacting Dr Jules in person