There is a lot of anxiety out there right now, and subsequently we can feel it, whether we ourselves are anxious or not. The energy of it permeates us and affects us. We all deal with it differently, but I feel that a lot of people have no idea how to deal with it. Heck sometimes I have trouble shaking it, and I feel like I have a pretty good toolbox of ways to deal with it. Lately I have been waking up at 3/4am every day with mild anxiety, but it feels like for the most part, it’s not mine.
So how can you begin to deal with it? First off, I would say to do whatever makes you feel safe. It’s easy to judge the ones stocking up with several month’s worth of supplies – but honestly, if that’s what makes them feel better, they should do it. This part is really about just soothing your worries a bit. Feeling like you have some control over a situation that feels out of control. Do what feels best for you that way.
Once you have yourself feeling a little safer, then it’s time to work on calming yourself down. A good place to start is to stay mostly away from the media. The media is very much about fear and drama, so that’s not going to help you right now. If you can turn off the news, that will help you to find more calm. If you truly want more information on what is going on, you can always go online and find more factual and helpful articles and information.
Now you just need to start to quiet that brain of yours that’s still full of worries. I know for many, meditation and mindfulness isn’t part of your normal practice, but busyness is something you know how to do. So, start by doing some practical and helpful things that feel good. This is a great time of year to do some spring cleaning. Perhaps you spend time going from room to room and eliminating everything you can, creating piles to donate and to trash. Not only is this a feel-good thing that will shift the energy in your home, but it will also take your brain away from all that fearful mental chatter.
So, what happens when you finish clearing your home? I would spend your free time doing things that continue to take your brain away from worries, but keep it in a positive place. Perhaps reading, writing, listening to music, or doing creative projects. Even better if you can do things outside. Nature tends to ground and heal us, so be outside if you can be. Take hikes, walk your dogs, or go for a bike ride.
Speaking of which – exercise is a wonderful way to calm worries or anxiety. After a stressful day, I know that I have to get in a run or yoga, as it’s the fastest and easiest way for me to shake off that stress. Mind you, I know many of you go to a gym and can’t do that right now – there are so many things you can do at home or outside. Look up YouTube videos, walk around the block, use full detergent bottles as your kettlebells – whatever it takes, get your exercise and take care of yourself. It will alleviate anxieties for you and get you in a better frame of mind.
That’s really the key though. Getting yourself to a better frame of mind. Out of the worry about the future. For most of us, we need to just keep ourselves relatively busy in positive projects and endeavors so that we can stay in that positive frame of mind.
If you want to take this a step further though instead of just distracting yourself all the time, you can work on just being present. Being in a state of mindfulness and gratefulness in the present moment. Maybe even meditating a bit? Really, this is as good a time as any to start cultivating a practice of mindfulness and maybe even spirituality. After all, you have to have faith in yourself and your creator to get you through these times.
Perhaps you start to spend some quiet time in prayer, mindfulness, meditation or something even simpler like journaling. Whatever you feel will be helpful or grounding for you. Develop your own regular practice and don’t get discouraged if you feel distracted during it. Just notice those times and gently bring yourself back to the moment.
Finding the Blessings
I have found that my own spiritual faith and following my intuition is what gets me through the tough times. If I can get to a place of calm, then I can find clarity. Sometimes when I really relax into it, I can see the blessings in even the worst situations. Or the lessons I/we are being taught. I can see how it’s bringing our world together. How we will become more compassionate because of this. And how it will make us that much stronger in the long run.
Mind you, this might be a stretch for some people right now to get to a place of calm and see the positives in the situation, it’s not impossible. Not only that, but if you can find the positives in all of this, and even be a helper out there to others – it will prove to be a positive experience in your life to some extent.
Be a Helper
Stretch yourself a bit and if you need to do more than what I’ve listed – if you feel like you need to or want to help others – then do that too. Take all the necessary precautions, but do what you can to lift others. That might mean just picking up the phone and checking on those you love. Maybe you play songs on your guitar and put the videos on social media to uplift others. Or maybe you order groceries online for an elderly neighbor. Whatever feels right and still keeps everyone safe, do it. Everyone has something in their wheelhouse they can do to be helpful and put some positive energy into the current situation.
In any given moment though, the one thing I will tell you is to stop and breathe. When you have moments of overwhelm or worry, breathe deeply. Focus on something you are grateful for if you need to as well. But breathe and be present, and know that you are safe. All is well.
Be safe beautiful souls.
A book you may find helpful is The Wisdom of Anxiety: How Worry and Intrusive Thoughts Are Gifts to Help You Heal by Sheryl Paul.