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If you are anything like me, you are a news junkie. Caught somewhere between “I need to know more.” and “Holy crap, I wish I didn’t know that.”
Okay, now is a good time to go back to that breathing thing we talked about. Breathe in. Breathe out. Keep doing that. A few more times. Got it? Good.
Now, what do we do with all of this anxiety?
Thanks to covid-19 here are about a million things you can’t control right now, and you really will drive yourself crazy worrying about every single one of them. You probably aren’t going to be able to avoid worrying either, unless you’re an ostrich living on a deserted island – you are going to worry.
The whole point of your stress response system is to get you ready to act in case of danger. Your body is getting ready to fight, flight, or freeze, you know the old routine. If this were a your standard physical threat, you’d be more than ready to deal with it right now.
So, what happens when the danger is a microscopic killer that could be lurking behind every cough? You can’t punch a virus in the nards, and you can’t outrun something that is almost everywhere.
So, for now, the world freezes. Hoping that we can hide out long enough to find a way to outsmart this tiny little killer.
Freezing in place is what is best for the world right now, but it’s not going to do a whole lot to easy our current anxieties. Our bodies are still gearing up to do something about this threat to our world.
So, the very best thing you can do for yourself (and everybody else) is to give in to that need.
Anxiety, like most emotions is neither good nor bad. It just depends on what we do with it. Here again is where that constructive vs destructive thing comes in. When a situation is out of our control, all of our stress responses are triggered with no place to expel it.
So, do something with it.
You don’t have to be a scientist to fight coronavirus.
- If you have a background in healthcare you can volunteer to answer hotline questions or those asked on online forums.
- If you have extra food, supplies or money donate them to a local food bank.
- If you are an attorney, there are so many people in need of your services right now.
- If you have extra camping supplies donate them to homeless shelters.
- Check on the elderly and most vulnerable in your neighborhood.
- If you are a creative person, now is the time to share your art.
- If you have a song, sing it.
- If you have a story, tell it.
- If you have a photo, sculpt, sketch or painting share it.
- Parents are home with their kids, so if you have a kid friendly talent share that too.
- Offer your help tutoring kids with subject their parents may struggle with.
- Offer to build websites for businesses that might suddenly need an online presence to keep going.
If you think that you have nothing to offer the world you just haven’t looked hard enough.
Somewhere out there right now is someone who is in need of your skills.
We all fight with one another until a common enemy raises its head. Then we remember that we are all one big family, and we are all in this together.
Yes, you have a lot of anxiety right now. That’s okay. Keep the Serenity Prayer very close by right now.
And remember to keep doing the breathie thing.