I’ve been writing in my head a lot lately. Staying away from the keyboard except to do paid work. And it’s wearing on me.
Stressing and worrying about the current COVID-19 situation, anxiety ridden about whether enough people are taking it seriously enough, fretting about emergency preparedness in case it gets real bad real quick…this is what’s consuming me.
My employer is taking it seriously; those of us who can have been directed to work from home indefinitely. I feel for those who can’t. More should be done for them.
In the last few days, I’ve experienced support, paranoia, kindness, anger, the whole gamut of human emotion and reaction. It has been scary, but it has re-affirmed some things for me.
- We can only do what we can do. If you suffer from anxiety, like I do, and you have ways of dealing with it under normal circumstances, don’t abandon your methods just because circumstances have ramped up. We can’t necessarily change what’s going on around us, but we can keep taking care of ourselves. Keep doing what you do to manage your anxiety. Here’s a list of some things I do: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/treatments-for-anxiety/anxiety-management-strategies. Also, I’m going to start doing this today: Ten Percent Happier Live and maybe this, too, if I can fit it in: The Consciousness Explorers Club Sitting with Pandemic Panic.
- Let creativity soothe you. When I’m feeling anxious and overwhelmed with what’s going on in the world, I feel better if I write about it. Sometimes that’s here on the blog, sometimes that’s in my journal, sometimes it’s on a random piece of blank paper or even in my head. When I don’t write, the anxiety builds up in my head until the floodgates break and I go a bit crazy with panic. I also paint, craft, crochet, doodle, bake, cook, etc., anything that forces me to think about the task at hand instead of the scary world for a little bit.
- Find someone else to help. If I’m having a hard time helping myself and I can’t get out of my own way, I take a deep breath and look around for someone else who may be suffering more, then I offer to help them. This often puts things into perspective, but it also drives home the point that human connection in these times (though not really close human connection, because coronavirus) is important, and helping each other is important. And when I finish helping, I feel a little less alone and worried about bad things.
I’m using this pandemic panic feeling to exercise my creativity and get the anxiety out of my head and onto a screen because, of everything I do, that’s the thing that helps the most. I’m going to beat back the anxiety with creativity.
What are you doing?