Combatting Anxiety Amid Uncertainty

Photo by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash

Holy moly, can you say Anxiety with a capital A?! Raise your hand if you’re feeling some of that right now. Since I can’t actually see you, I will assume you have raised at least one hand. Believe me, both of mine are lifted straight in the air as though I’m waiting for the next big drop in this roller coaster ride.

As someone who leans pretty heavily toward anxiety when life is normal, I am struggling to let go of my need for control and to find a little bit of balance and structure amid the uncertainty and instability. And because no one knows how long we’ll be stuck in this turbulent state, I’ve come to the realization that I need to be proactive in pulling myself out of my own sinking mindset.

If the fear and doubt are also getting to you, here are a few things that I’ve found to be helpful:

  • Limit time watching/reading news and social media. There’s no question that staying informed is important, but constantly looking for updates is distracting and often does little to abate anxiety. Try checking in just once or twice a day and, if possible, avoid those first thing in the morning and last thing at night times.
  • Move your body. Exercise is a huge mood booster. Even if your gym is closed or you don’t have a regular workout regimen, there are all kinds of things you can do at home. Check out some YouTube videos, go for a walk, turn on some music and have a dance party with your kids. Get creative. Your body and your mental health will thank you.
  • Reach out to family and friends. We are fortunate to have so many avenues for staying connected when we aren’t able to meet in person, and now is the perfect time to take advantage of them. So call your parents, send a text to your siblings, set up a video chat with your best friend. By keeping in touch with loved ones and neighbors, we can offer support, as well as be supported when needed.
  • Be intentional with activities that promote tranquility. Whether that’s reading, creating, listening to music, praying, meditating, getting outside, etc. Whatever it is that shifts you into a calm and centered state of mind, make time for it as much as possible. Even a few minutes a day can lift your spirit.
  • Remain hopeful. We have been through trials and challenges of varying degrees before and although normal tends to look a little different on the other side, we do eventually return to an even keel. As the saying goes, “This too shall pass.” It has to. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

What’s helping you right now?

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