Little Bit of Normal

Even Keel

Paint by number

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?


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