Mrs A And The Brexit Problem
Hello everyone. Today I want to talk about Brexit (again), but this isn’t a political post as such. Rather than debating Brexit, today I’m going to focus on how the uncertainty around it affects my mental health.
So whats happening with Brexit?
At the time of writing this post a Brexit exit deal has been agreed with the EU. This deal sets out the terms for Britain leaving the EU. It doesn’t however describe what the UKs future relationship with the EU will be. That is yet to be negotiated following our withdrawal on the 29th March 2019, otherwise known as Brexit Day. Following Brexit day if the deal is agreed we will be in a sort of limbo. Having left the EU but not properly. How long this limbo could last is something that’s still up for debate.
The problem is the deal hasn’t been agreed by Parliament yet. In a couple of weeks time they will have a meaningful vote on the Brexit deal. They can choose to accept it, or reject it. Rejecting the deal will result in us leaving the EU on Brexit day with no deal.
A no deal Brexit will likely lead to huge disruption in many areas, food and medication supplies, travel abroad, a rise in the price of any available goods, a slow down of economic growth that could easily lead to a further recession. Dispite all this, the chances of a no deal Brexit look very high at the moment.
How does this affect my mental health?
I suffer from anxiety. Anxious people dont like unpredictability. Rules, structure and familiarity are our friends and make us feel safe. We like to know whats going to happen in every aspect of our lives, be that good or bad so we can plan for things. I’ve written about my need to know what’s going on in posts such as I’m Not A Control Freak, I’m Just Anxious .
In terms of Brexit there is a lot of uncertainty. Even if it turns as wonderful as Mrs May say it will be, there are still going to be a lot of change. And as yet those changes are unknown. If things don’t go Mrs Mays way the experts are predicting all sorts of bad things.
I have to admit I’m quite obsessed with the whole Brexit thing at the moment. Some people don’t get this. I don’t run a business trading with Europe, I dont rely on EU subsidies and I’m not from an EU country, so why should I be so concerned?
My answer to this is I’m concerned precisely because of the uncertainty the whole farcical situation has already brought to our everyday lives.
This is just one example of how Brexit is causing me anxiety at the moment. A few weeks ago we had the budget. One of the positive things announced was the raising of the single person’s tax threshold raising to £12,500. This should be a good thing. Being the anxious control freak I am, I have already worked out this will mean a whole £3.50 a week extra from April (or if you work on Mr A’s system a whole extra pint a week). The little bit of extra money isn’t really the thing here. What is important is I have a figure and from that I can budget for the coming year. Budgets are good, they make me happy.
But the changes in the budget are due to begin at the beginning of april 2019, days after Brexit day. So in reality it’s a worthless budget.
The chancellor has already said that if things go badly with Brexit he will have to announce an emergency budget. Nothing the government is doing at the moment is set in stone.
So where does this leave me?
Well this is the big question isn’t it. What do I and other similarly anxious people do about the Brexit Problem. On the one hand all those people who have been telling me to ignore it all are right. It’s very true that there’s not a single thing I can do to influence the Brexit outcome now. And further more I can’t make plans myself until something, anything is decided.
However ignoring it really isn’t a viable option. Not knowing what was going on cause me a great deal of anxiety, because my mind can create all sorts of catastrophic scenarios at the drop of a hat. And further more unless I chose to live in a cave with no TV, radio or internet access for the next 6 months I’m going to hear about it on a daily basis.
What I have chosen to do is limit my exposure to it. Avoid speculative posts whether in the news or Twitter and Facebook threads, and limit my news watching to one program a day.
Outside of that I’m trying to focus on the everyday things, enjoying time spent with friends and family and practicing self-care.
Are you finding Brexit is affecting your mental health? Have you any tips on how to deal with Brexit related anxiety?
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