Hey Thrivers! I wanted to get real about some anxiety issues I’ve been dealing with since being home due to the virus. I’m hoping that you can read this and not feel alone in this situation. Anxiety is more common than you think especially during this crazy time we are living in. Although I thought I had overcome my days of anxiety, the reality is – it’s not something that just goes away and never comes back. But the good news is there are healthy ways to cope with anxiety.
I want to start off by saying that it’s healthier for you not to be so hard on yourself during this pandemic. It may sound cliche but I just have come to the realization that sitting at home and coming up with different “worst-case scenarios” in my head will just not matter in the end, because it’s all in my head.
My anxiety has slowly creeped up on me in a way I did not anticipate and I feel like I had spent so much time trying to work through it that for a second it felt like I had gone back 10 steps. I got so used to being home during this pandemic that I stressed myself out about having to go out, potentially cross contaminate, and put my other family members at risk. I ended up consciously choosing to not get out of the house not even for a walk, not even to my backyard to get some sun.
I even had been reluctant to go to the gas station. I would avoid having to go out altogether. While I am doing good for society by not going out as much, I am not doing good for myself by not getting sun and overwhelming myself. My anxiety had gotten so bad to the point where I was at the point of a mental breakdown and made myself nauseous. I felt horrible physically and mentally. This all happened in spite of meditating daily, eating better, and exercising daily. It goes to show how strong of a control our mind has over us.
Recently I came across this post that said most of the things we worry about don’t ever end up happening. Similar to many of you, I had gone from one extreme to the next. I had gone from going to work, seeing friends and family, going out dancing to being in one environment 24/7. It was never going to be an easy transition and coming to terms with that has been a learning lesson and I’m learning to let shit go.
If you’re someone that’s constantly in your head and will overwhelm yourself with your own thoughts – you will kill yourself letting your negative thoughts win every time. If it is not your reality, then there is no need to stress about a “what-if” scenario. I know it’s easier said than done. But whenever you find yourself stuck, you need to talk yourself out of it the same way you talk yourself into it. I mean this with compassion because I understand that feeling of your anxiety controlling you.
In all honesty, stress and anxiety will age you. It will cripple you. It will make you feel like you can’t breathe. But I believe with everything in me that your mindset is your strongest asset. If you train it everyday, it will work for you, not against you. You might think this is BS but it’s something you have to be willing to work on.
The next time you feel your anxiety creeping up ask yourself:
- Is this reality or in my head?
- Is this in my control? If it isn’t, then let that shit go.
- What aspect of this is in my control? (Your reaction is one aspect)
- What triggered this? Is there a trigger that you can be conscious of next time.
Most of us may not be able to sit there and think through this if we’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed. So make an effort to think through these things after the fact. Most importantly, forgive yourself. Feeling like crap is not something anybody would choose. It’s a mental battle that you have to work through every time. The reason I’m asking you to think and ask yourself these things before or after the fact is because you have to get honest with yourself so you can work through your anxiety.
I was under this impression that I worked so hard mentally that I won’t have to deal with anxiety again. But the truth is, no one’s perfect. It’s not the end of the world if you deal with it after not having to for months. Forgive yourself, be real with yourself, and move forward every time.
All photos courtesy of Unsplash