Anxiety, much like anger, can take different forms and appear differently in different situations. For some anxiety looks likes like agitation with fidgeting and pacing but for others it can look more like they are withdrawn or checked out of things. For so many people who thought that life would have returned to what they once felt was reliable and predictable a long time ago, their anxiety continues to build as COVID drags on and the delays around vaccines (not to mention stress around the economy and politics) wear on and on and on….
First, it’s not just you
Everyone has been impacted. While introverts may appreciate more time at home, being trapped with their family when they are used to at least a little bit of separation is difficult. Introverts that are alone all the time are also feeling the pinch and strain of isolation. And extroverts are in hell! Extraverts who thrive off of the energy of others are climbing walls and hating just about everything about social distancing. It is easy to feel isolated and alone. A real irony is that everyone is struggling with it right alongside you.
Virtual connections are different
That’s very true. When people physically occupy the same space, they can read each other’s body language and nonverbal cues with a lot more ease, it is harder to be distracted with devices when there is the option of leaving them in another room and interactions can be more organic. Yes… AND virtual connectivity offers freed of geography. You can see and hear a loved one who lives in another state without the hassle and strain of travel. Letting go of what is lost or missing can make it a lot easier to see what is and find more opportunity.
Do you remember?
In the before times (that’s how I reference pre-COVID days), people were just as hard to get in touch with and schedule things with. It is easy to forget that we were all just as over-scheduled. Big difference now, most people don’t have to commute as much.
What's your numb of choice?
Many people are overwhelmed and stressed and are seeking ways to stay numb. Drug and alcohol use is way up. But so is junk food and TV/streaming consumption. Devices can be about staying numb just as much as staying buzzed. Many people keep noise in their ears to avoid the noise in their heads. That is totally understandable. Also, the internet, Netflix, podcasts, etc. will not actually make anyone else anxious. To reduce anxiety, shutting devices off for even just a few minutes a day allows the brain to work through and digest some things. That may be uncomfortable, but it is far more healthy in the long run.
Turn. Off. The. News.
Staying informed feels really important to a lot of people, especially right now. Cool. Turn off the TV. Pick 1-2 trusted sources online, set an amount of time in advance and READ what they have to say, then stop.
When there are things in your world and community that you are passionate about, get involved. Watching the news is often more paralyzing than inspiring and it is one-sided, no one hears your voice. Sign a petition, donate, often there are ways to volunteer virtually or socially distanced. Doing something will help you feel connected and empowered. Watching the news will only help to suck the life out of you.
As always, I’m here. If you are ready to work on having the life you want, call me and let’s get started!