Stress and anxiety are actually part and parcel of the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism that has served humans well over many thousands of years, from learning how to avoid sabre tooth tigers to carrying out that important presentation to our boss. Without a certain level of heightened response to situations we will not perform well.

When these heightened responses become overwhelming it is damaging, and particularly so to people with HAE where we know stress can trigger HAE attacks.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to reduce social contact, home-school our children, take part in ‘virtual’ consultations instead of face-to-face ones, and some of us have needed to shield. This has in turn caused us all to reassess what is important to us, what frightens us and what increases our feelings of isolation and anxiety. At no time has it been so important to maintain a healthy mental state, particularly when HAE attacks are often exacerbated by anxiety and mental stress.

Here we have some simple routines and suggestions to assist us in managing these conditions, from Dr Mari Campbell, a highly respected clinical psychologist who specialises in the complex issues surrounding Rare diseases and the effects of living with one.

Anger or Irritability
Anger & irritability

NHS self-help guide – Anxiety 
Living with worry and anxiety 

Children & Young People
WHO helping children cope with stress
Coolminds young persons guide to staying well during Coronavirus

Managing Lockdown
Grounding techniques
Controlled breathing
Coping calendar
Active at home
Ideas for lockdown

Relaxation & Sleep
NHS self-help guide
NHS Managing insomnia
Nightmares & sleep
MIND Relaxation
Special place imagery
Progressive muscle relaxation

Further Resources

Coping with loneliness
Coping with loneliness during the Coronavirus outbreak
British Psychological Society on self Isolation in adults and older people living with dementia
AgeUK befriending service

Listening & Advice Services
Samaritans – 08457 90 90 90 or
CALM (the campaign against living miserably) – 0800 58 58 58 or
HOPE Line UK  (under 35 year olds having thoughts of suicide) – . Call 0800 068 41 41, text 07860039967 or
Support Line 01708 765 200 or

Relaxation Exercises
Relaxation techniques

Self-help Guides & Workbooks
NHS Live well
NHS Self-help
Living Life to the Full

Support during Coronavirus
Volunteer responders
Government advice and services for extremely clinically vulnerable, including shopping and medicine support
MIND difficult feelings in lockdown