Anxiety and blood pressure

I am so anxious during this pandemic.So my blood pressure has risen to 165/95.I am due to have phone chat with GP next Thursday,having my Covid jab tomorrow.Living alone ,after having busy life ,now 73,I find it difficult.Sleep is poor,waking every couple of hours. Two years since stroke,affected left arm,not permanently.How does one relax?





Hi June, no answers really but just an observation I guess.  I retired in August 2019, after a busy career as a special needs teacher.  I found myself unable to sleep, having been an exceptionally good sleeper all my life!  I think it was the sudden lack of demanding activity, and I just wasn't getting sufficiently tired to sleep!  

I've noticed again, during lockdown, that we've both had strange sleep patterns.  My husband, stroke survivor of 3 and a half years, is frequently awake, making cups of tea in the wee small hours ?, and I think we're just not needing so much sleep as we're not getting worn out during the day!!  So, in addition to the effects of stroke, it might just be that you aren't as busy as you would previously have been, and your need for sleep has been disrupted?  My husband has given up worrying about sleeping - he just gets up and makes tea, then reads or watches the news for about an hour and then often manages to go to sleep.  

Every stroke survivor seems to have found their own strategy for dealing with sleep requirements - some sleep whenever they need to, others have developed routines which work for them - I think it's trial and error, and whatever works best for you.  Maybe try some yoga for relaxation, listening to music, lavender pillows, youtube exercise videos etc I'm sure that people will offer you lots of suggestions.  I was listening to someone on the radio who was advocating deep breathing exercises - only simple slow, long breaths, he explained how this helps to slow us down and to induce a feeling of calm, but I used it as a 10 minute distraction which stops me stressing about Covid for 10 minutes!!

Covid is upsetting everyone, it's hard not to feel anxious, we can't escape it, and the long, dark, cold days are making lockdown 3 a much tougher challenge ?.  It will be wonderful once we can look forward and make plans again.  Take good care and keep posting, there are lots of lovely people who will share their tried and tested strategies.  Very good wishes xx  

Hi June

I'm no doctor but I have had high blood pressure for years.  A lot depends when you take it as to how high it is.  As. you know, it varies throughout the day and usually rises somewhat during the afternoon.  140/80 is generally considered the norm.  Do you keep a record of your BP?  I was told by GP to take it when you get up in the morning after sitting up for a few minutes and again the the afternoon.  Also not to take it when you have just eaten as certain foods can cause a rise.  Is it 165/95 regularly at different times of the day?  If so, your GP may monitor you for 24hrs to get an average.  It may settle once you know they are happy with it.

BP is a pain. I did mine yesterday and it was 95/63.  Probably why I felt a bit lightheaded.  Today it's 116/75.  It's always all over the place!   Try not to worry over it as this makes it worse.  My way of relaxing is a warm bath at night listening to my fav relaxation music on Spotify - Ultimate Spa & Massage Music album. It's my escape! 

Thank you .I am such a worrier...I need to calm...Thank you again 

Thank you for your support.I was a teacher for 40 years and loved every minute! I try to fill my time but ,deep sighs,I feel as if I'm existing not living. Long days. I will try your suggestions.Thank you again.Stay well..

Yes, I understand what you mean - when you're at school life is very structured, even our holidays were prescribed for us!!  My retirement has been weird because initially I was caring for my husband as he was going through chemotherapy, quickly followed by the first lockdown, so I had my 84 year mother to look after as well - I've yet to be able to put any of my retirement plans into action ?.  However I'm still alive and kicking and will appreciate life even more when the restrictions are eased!!  

I'm sure many people are finding that they are drifting through the days, I seem to be busy but not sure what I've actually achieved!! I didn't want retirement to be too structured as I was looking forward to not having to stick to a routine, after all these years, only to find the country in lockdown ?!!  

If we can just drag ourselves through the next couple of months, the spring flowers will emerge, the days will be longer, lighter and warmer and I'm sure it will make us all feel better (or as we used to joke at school ... "more betterer" ?).  Keep posting, there will always be someone here to share your thoughts with.  Take care xx 

Living alone is hard because it often seems as though we only have ourselves to talk to.  And so, we can go round and round with our worries.  It's expecially hard now with Covid, as it limits our ability to see others and get out of our "mental rut".  That's why this site is so good for us.  Maybe a zoom class where you interact with others would help.  I take a bible study zoom class through my church once a week.  It's good just to talk to others in that way.   You feel like you're not really living right now. Having been a teacher, you are used to helping others. I can identify with that because I always wanted to feel useful, did volunteer work, etc.  Having my stroke stopped most of that for a while.  Then Covid hit and I didn't want to go anywhere.  I found one way to be useful was in managing the library at our church.  It's a small thing, but somebody has to do it.  I do the little that I do at home on my computer.  It helps the church, and it helps me to feel as though I am contributing in some way.  Maybe you could find something like that.   Another thing I do is go on line to stroke chat rooms and  talk to other people going through the same thing.  I hope I'm being useful in that way, and also it helps me.  People need other people to feel connected to life.  As far as the blood pressure goes, I am going to say something that everyone, including the doctors will disagree with, but here it is: I had to stop taking my blood pressure because it was making me a nervous wreck. I was focusing on it too much and worrying about it.  It got so I'm sure my blood pressure went up as soon as I looked at the machine!  I decided that since I saw my doc regularly, I'd go by that number, take my meds and forget about it.  Everything will eventually work out.  This time we are going through won't last forever, and "Every day in every way I'm getting better and better." (MY mantra)  Love and best wishes,  Jeanne

Hi June. I am 77, but lucky enough to have a partner. However, that doesn't mean that lockdown life is any easier. I find it helps to have a routine e.g. morning walk, coffee, lunch, nap, cook, tv, bed. We also play Classic FM all day, despite it being a bit repetitive. It's just nice to have soothing music on. I also play it just before going to sleep.

Hi June

Activity seems to help my sleep, a walk in the morning and a short session on the exercise bike pm.  I am 78. If I do too much then I fall asleep in my recliner, which rather defeats the objective.  Given the terrible tiredness after my TIA it is very hard not to nap during the day but I do try to stay awake.the rugby is good this afternoon so I am awake, cup of tea next. I bought a blood pressure machine online so that I could monitor my BP as it was all over the place, it seems to have settled but do take medication for my BP.  It must be hard on your own in lock down.  FaceTime can help with keeping in touch.  Best wishes Marylin


Same here..ministroke last May with few lasting effects but sleep seems bad every 2nd night. I’m not pushing it and trying to go with the flow but BP is up and down!  Exercise seems to help and of course low salt and careful diet. 

Thank you so much! I have decided to ditch the BP you say ...too stressful! I do fill my days as much as I can.I help my granddaughter with home schooling ..on line ..I will feel much better when I can get out in my beloved garden. Best wishes.

That's wonderful that you can help your granddaughter. I sure miss mine. I know what you mean about the garden. It is very uplifting and healing. I am finally able to get out in it and enjoy working it once again.  You will too.  Hang in there.  Love, Jeanne  p.s.  Since "ditching" the BP monitor my BP has been the best it's every been when I have my checkups.  Ha Ha

I saw my GP about my anxiety on Monday,she has put me on Beta blockers...40mg 3 times per day...I can't sleep at all 

Hi June, 

I am experiencing exactly the same problem as you. My blood pressure is all over the place. It has been as low as 120/79 and as high as 169/108. Did the beta blockers help? What was the name of the one you were prescribed?

I hope things improve for you and that this Covid thing clears up by the summer. The vaccine, when we get it, should help.

Thanks & Best Wishes,


Hi Mike,thanks for your reply. I've only been on Propranadol for 4 days. Felt instantly calmer..but I'm very dubious about taking medication..I seem to have such side effects!! Let's hope the Covid thing does get cleared up. I had my jab last must be younger than me ! Best wishes June.      


Went to GP...blood pressure was great ! Spring is on the way Jeanne love June

Great news, June!  Thanks for letting me know. Yes, spring is on the way! Love, Jeanne  p.s.  I took out the batteries and put away the b.p. monitor that had been sitting on my dresser unused for what seems like forever.  I don't want to look at it anymore!

Ha Ha Ha!! Very cute!

Thank you for literally making me laugh out loud !! laugh