I don't do drama. I lash out when I hear hyperbole used to create a sense of impending doom. I don't enjoy or have patience for groups of people with heightened emotions. All of these things make me anxious and quite certain I am in danger. I have spent too much time and money getting a handle on my anxiety to let anyone or anything (even a pandemic) make me live that way again.
I'm sharing this for a couple reasons. First, if I've been curt and dismissive to you in the last month while you tried to tell me the latest scary virus news. I'm sorry. I should have ended the conversation in a nicer way. Second, I've become quite aware of what helps me feel like myself again when the anxiety tries to sneak back in and I hope by sharing my strategies, you might be willing to share some of yours too.
- If a social media post has a photo of Trump on it, I don't read it
- Get outside every day - otherwise I become lethargic and prone to a gloomy outlook
- Listen to audio books or non-news podcasts while going about the boring but necessary bits of life (cleaning, folding laundry, cooking uninspired meals)
- Never look more than 48 hours in the future, 24 is preferable
- Get eye level with the bunny and pet her, focusing on the way her eyes close and open with each stroke of her head
- Body scan and metta meditation
- Read my daily digest email from WBUR to keep up with the news, then avoid all other sources the rest of the day
- Seek out and spend time with the people (virtually) and media (blogs, books, live feeds, Pinterest) that feed my soul
- Embrace chances to be silly
- Create: write, quilt, mend, knit, garden, collage...
- The unexpected hero of this situation has been a large paint-by-number kit that I got for Christmas a couple years ago. There is no need to think, but I'm engaged and active. Several times lately Alex has come to ask me a question and it's only then that I realize I've been painting and listening to my audio book for hours.
What is helping you stay on an even keel?