Right now, our routines are all a bit screwy and we're each having to adjust our patterns to adhere to a new flow. We're not getting our usual social fix, and the extroverts among us are going a bit stir crazy. The fidgetiness and stir-craziness are real, and its at times like these where the state of our mental continuum is magnified to an extreme. This then heightens our overall anxiety and adds to the background stress, causing us to each be a bit more on edge with each passing day.
If you find yourself in this mode, this post is written for you. I'd like to give some tips and tricks for managing your anxiety while we're quarantined and prevented from interacting with the world as we would normally.:
- Be kind. Recognize that we're each feeling this and very much in this together. I'm not suggesting that you hug your neighbors, but try to maintain an awareness that everyone else you encounter is just trying to go through their day and get by. In times like this, compassion is a currency, and its a means of changing both your life and the lives of others for the better.
- De-escalate. In recognizing that others are experienced a heightened state of anxiety just as you are, take notice when you're getting a bit hot under the collar and work to de-escalate the tension. Crack jokes, take a breather, and then return to handling the problem so that cooler heads prevail.
- Breathe. When you find yourself worked-up, take slow, deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. Use this to center yourself.
- Meditate. Take some time to find your happy place within and then return to the world with that awareness in mind.
- Do nice things for yourself. Its all too easy to become overly concerned for others right now too, so be sure to take care of yourself too. Your nerves are going to be a bit frayed around the edges, so its important to take care of your own star player: you.
- Pace yourself. If you're handling a lighter work load as a result of your place of business having less customers to attend to, slow down and try to take some joy in your job. Decrease your expediency by 5 to 10% and slowly chew through your workload if your circumstances allow for it. Burnout is a very real concern when dealing with stress like this.
- Engage in prayer. No matter your faith, there's some good to be had in engaging in spiritual acts. Prayer is one such variation of this practice, and the act of communing with one manner of spirit or another can do fantastic things for the mind and soul.
- Read a book. Enrich yourself and your mind while you're less able to go out and be social. Readership isn't a very well valued life skill, as its not often considered to be a "cool" thing to do. It is also an extremely effective means of self-improvement if you're reading worthwhile texts.
I hope these suggestions give you some ideas and make your stays at home more pleasurable overall. We'll get through this, and managing anxiety effectively will make this whole experience a great deal less unpleasant!