Help! I’m worried about Brexit
It's all over the news and constantly changing. Brexit related anxiety is real, but here's what you can do if you're worried about the future.
Even if you’ve never been interested in politics, it’s hard not to be affected by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. It’s led to complete parliamentary chaos, and if you’re feeling Brexit related anxiety, you’re not alone.
Why do I feel this way?
Whether we’re aware of it or not, the government plays a sort of parental role in our sense of safety, well-being and security. This is under threat at the moment, so lots of us feel scared and unhinged. It doesn’t matter whether you voted Leave or Remain – the loss of faith in our leaders, and democracy, is hard to shake. It can make us feel out of control and hopeless. Being aware of these feelings is really important, so that anxiety doesn’t become overwhelming.
How will Brexit change things?
The problem is…we’re not entirely sure! But Brexit will change pretty much everything. Here’s what we know so far…
- Young people from the EU will have to apply for pre-settled or settled status to continue legally living, working or studying in the UK. It can be daunting and disheartening to apply for a new immigration status. Perhaps you’ve lived in the UK for years, or have never formally applied for anything before. Remember to reach out to The Mix to talk about your feelings and concerns. If you don’t have a British passport, make sure to read how you can apply for settled status here.
- The Brexit referendum was really divisive because it revealed all our political motivations. Lots of us might be experiencing difficult family relationships at the moment. Maybe you voted to Remain, but your favourite Granny voted to Leave. It’s been well documented that the majority of young people want to remain in the EU, with older generations – who won’t be as affected by the changes – wanting the opposite. Try and accept differences, and communicate neutrally with your family to avoid arguments and feeling upset.
- We know that Brexit will affect our economy, and the worst-case scenarios suggest there might be food and medication shortages, and increased prices. All this insecurity and uncertainty will affect businesses and could lead to job losses and another economic recession.
- Hundreds of laws and treaties will have to be re-written. Our human rights and environmental protections will be affected as well.
So, what can I do?
- Be kind to your mind! If you’re feeling stressed, down or worried about politics, look after your mental health by limiting your news intake. Try to avoid spending hours scrolling through Twitter reading all the arguments, hot takes, speculations, outrage and general chaos of what might happen next. It’s perfectly acceptable to log out, and avoid discussing inflammatory topics with people you know have opposing views to your own.
- Alternatively, sometimes being proactive can make a real difference. During difficult times, a sense of community is really important. Read some ideas here of how to campaign for change, or check out Our Future, Our Choice, My Life My Say or The People’s Vote campaign. If you’re an EU Citizen, the 3 Million are always looking for volunteers.
- Yes, this is a historic moment for our tiny island. But remember that all over the world countries are experiencing political crisis, change, chaos, upheaval, trauma and much more.
- Take stock of your own life. Where do you want to be in a year’s time, regardless of Brexit? Focus on your own goals and ambitions, because you do have immediate control over these! It might sound like a cliche, but remember to be grateful for all the good things in your life. Talk to others who are also worried about the future.
- Try to exercise regularly, get outdoors or try breathing exercises, meditation or mindfulness to help you stay focused on the present moment.
- The EU Londoners Hub is a brilliant resource (not just for people from London!) If you or your family are from the EU you'll find lots of detailed information on their website
- Coram's Children's Legal Centre offer legal advice about applying for settled status
- Here for Good offer free immigration advice to EEA citizens and their non-EEA family
- Find your local Citizens Advice here, for free and independent legal advice. Or call their helpline. 03454 04 05 06
- Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
- Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.
By Charlie Duffield
Updated on 30-Mar-2019
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