The corona virus looms and my worrying-mechanism is kicking into overdrive. I don’t know if you are like Little Hoo (and me) but there are a LOT of things to worry about right now. Just visiting the grocery store these days can set me on edge. I think what’s really upsetting right now is worrying about how bad things could become. Unfortunately fear is catching so if we aren’t careful our over-active anxiety brains could affect others around us. But like Little Hoo, we can combat our over-active anxiety makers by a few simple strategies:
- Breathing exercises. I use this a LOT at night when I can’t sleep. If I focus on my breath and just breath in and out at a measured (counted) pace, I can stop my worries long enough to force them out of the deep rut they’ve been working on for years. The more we practice this the more the ruts don’t form. If you find yourself worrying about your relatives getting sick or living off canned food for days just stop. Breath. Then find something else to think about. It’s good to be prepared for bad things happening but it’s not good to spend so much time worrying about all the possible bad things that we make ourselves sick with worry. Keep your brain healthy and your body will follow and a healthy body is the best way to cope with scary things. 🙂 I know it’s harder than just saying it here on this blog but every little bit helps. So stop. Breath. Then move onto the next coping trick.
- Exercise. A walk can do wonders. Put on some wireless headphones, queue up a book on audible, play some music that inspires you… there are so many ways to enjoy a simple walk. Notice the birds chirping and the colors of your surroundings. Sunshine is great for keeping healthy. If you’re stuck inside because of weather (or where you live/work) try some simple excercises where you are. How many push-ups can you do against your kitchen counter or a sturdy desk? Pull out a jump rope or have a tiny dance party. Getting your heart rate up is a great way to slow your worry-making down. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
- Call a friend. Sometimes you just have to call someone who knows you suffer from anxiety. Set a time limit though. Tell them you can only obsess about your worries for a few minutes and then move onto something else that is more productive.
- Help others. Helping others is the best way do something productive. You can’t fix everything but you can fix little things. You can call your mom or someone you know who is lonely. Visit a neighbor, write a friendly email for no reason at all. Write a blog post. Do something nice for someone. It will cheer you up and keep your anxiety-maker busy doing something productive. We are goign to need a lot of helpers in the future. Put on your helper hat and help somebody! No task is too small.
Do you have any ideas of ways to get through scary times? Do you need someone to talk to? Leave a comment and maybe we’ll create a little network. I’m thinking about you and all the overly-anxious people out there. We are highly intelligent, we can do a lot. We just have to keep our worry-makers from overheating!