First off, STAY HOME. I can 100% promise that you do not need to go to that bar or the mall. Yes, I feel terrible for saying that because I know that small businesses are going to suffer, but it’s just common sense.
Okay, now, let’s move onto some ideas I’ve had about trying to reduce anxiety during this anxious time.
Let me start by saying that I suffer A LOT of anxiety. I get nervous about everyday things. When I start to spiral out of control I do a few different things to try and stop the spin out.
- I talk to loved ones – my husband is an amazing listener, as our my friends.
- I talk to my therapist – an impartial viewpoint helps me 10 times out of 10 to relax and see how I can stop the spin.
- I take my anti-anxiety medication.
But this is different. Right now we are living in unprecedented times watching unprecedented events unfold. We are leaderless, or rather, being lead by a President who cares nothing about science and facts, and will say anything that comes into his orange head, which is dangerous and irresponsible.
Putting the Distance in Socializing
Non-contact greetings are best during an epidemic. [Credit: Compilation by Nancy R. Gough, BioSerendipity, LLC using icons from Smashicons from www.flaticon.com]
We have been told to practice social distancing, what is that exactly?
Well, first of all, it’s meant to help stop the spread of a disease by limiting how many people are gathered in a space at the same time. That’s why stuff like Comic Cons and other events are being cancelled.
But social distancing can be lonely, right? Well, luckily we live in a world where we can still stay connected without being on top of one another.
Ways To Feel Connected While Practicing Social Distancing:
- If you REALLY can’t be alone, safely go to stay with friends/family for a few days, weeks, whatever. By safely, I mean make sure none of you have been exposed in a way you know about. If you are feeling sick, STAY HOME. Don’t expose your illness to others just because you feel lonely. It’s harsh, but it’s truth.
- Find online groups to chat and connect with. They are everywhere on social media these days.
- Skype & Facetime – these tools are your friend, and are a great way to make you feel less alone. You can see the person you are talking with, without exposing one another to disease.
- Online counseling services, telemedicine, are easily available and a valuable resource.
- Smoke some pot (if that’s your thing) to relax. It does help.
- Have a drink (again, if that’s your thing) to ease your worries if you can, though I don’t recommend getting blotto drunk every night.
- Coloring books are great!
- Podcasts, learn something!
- Books! Read something!
- Binge that show on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon or Disney+ that you’ve been meaning to watch. I can tell you that The Mandalorian is fantastic. But so is The Office, Parks and Rec or 30 Rock (for laughs and mindless humor) – just do something that makes YOU happy.
- Exercise! Some of my favorite yoga studios, Laughing Elephant and All That Matters, are offering virtual classes for free. I also use HASfit online for my every day workouts. It’s a great way to reduce stress.
The most important thing to remember is don’t give up. This is not the end of the world. It may feel like it, especially if you’ve read The Stand by Stephen King.
Image Credit: The Copy Bot
It’s NOT The End – Keep Hope Alive
Like I said, I have a lot of anxiety, I also know that I am lucky and have a huge support system of friends and family who understand this and love me. My husband is always there to lend an ear to me and help me from spiraling out to much. Same with my lady tribe.
For now, stop hoarding TP, get some tasty treat to “Treat Yo Self” with and try to not watch the news or read too much social media. Talk to nurses, doctors you may know, get validated and trusted information, and find ways to distract yourself.
Find balance between out and out panic and ignoring it completely. We can’t ignore Covid-19, but we can do things to prevent ourselves from spiraling out of control and deciding this is how the world ends.
If you feel really badly, or realize you need more help than a blog can give you – REACH OUT TO YOUR DOCTOR.
I have anxiety medication just for the times when I spin out and can’t get the control back. I don’t take it every day, and sometimes just having it comforts me when I start to get wound up in my thoughts.
Don’t be ashamed to seek professional help. Don’t be ashamed to use medication. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, taking care of yourself, and realizing that you need help, are admirable qualities. It’s something to be proud of. You care enough about yourself to do something FOR yourself. Your friends and loved ones will and should appreciate this and applaud you for taking the steps needed to mend your anxious mind.
Image Credit: iStock Photo
These are strange times, and what makes us all feel even more hyped up is first, the lack of leadership coming out of the White House, but, as my husband reminded me the other day, the doctors and those in charge at the CDC, and in each state, they know what they need to do, and they are doing all they can to communicate it. We have to stay positive – and believe me, it’s very, very, VERY hard for me to do that sometimes.
The other aspect that makes us feel more anxious is the lack of control. Even if you aren’t a control freak (like me) watching things spin out of control makes almost anyone anxious. When you can’t do anything but hope you don’t get sick … well, that isn’t the most comforting thought.
But it’s what we have right now, and we have to hold onto it. We have to hope that we and those we love will be OK.
We also have to wash our hands, try not to hoard items so that everyone can get what they need, and just WASH YOUR HANDS.
Cough into your elbow, don’t go out if you’re sick, which I know is hard for those who don’t get sick leave or have asshole bosses, but this is our reality. Don’t be selfish, just because you may not be sick, or feel too poorly, doesn’t mean you won’t infect someone who will get really sick and potentially worse.
Let’s all come together as a human community to take care of one another.