You just wanna quickly run into the store and pick up a few items. You get to the door and realize you forgot your mask. Back to your car you go. Argghhhhh…..
You get home and you watch the news. COVID cases are rising, dropping. Immunization roll out is effective or not planned well enough. Who is sick. Who is not. The symptoms. The fear. The number of deaths.
You go on social media and you see the debates. To wear a mask or not. The insults thrown from all sides. You’re being disrespectful. Where’s your social morality. Don’t be a sheep-le. Stop wearing muzzles. The government’s out to get you. Look out for microchips and 5G.
To immunize or not. Which one is harmful. Immunizations are safe and effective. They’re making people sick.
When does it stop?
You don’t know what to believe anymore.
If COVID stress has got you down. Freakin’ out and worried. I hope you know that you’re in good company. This global pandemic has got everyone on edge.
It’s coming at you way too fast and you just can’t escape all of the media and fear. And when you’re scared, stressed and worried, it doesn’t bring out anyone’s best side.
So what can you do about it? How do you handle all of the stress?
Here’s a strategy to help you manage your fears, worry and anxiety.
Make a WORRY LIST.
Yup, you heard me. Write out all of your worries. Anytime they come up. Get them all out.
Your worries are there for a reason and they need to be heard. Just maybe not at this exact moment, while you’re working, trying to sleep, relax, or doing something that requires your focus.
When you feel fear, stress or worry, make a note in your phone Memo app.
Or, better yet do it old school and make a hand-written note on paper. Writing gives thoughts form so you have something concrete to work on. And, it triggers a part of the brain that stimulates creative thinking (to process & maybe solve that worry).
Get the worry and fear out of your head and into paper so you can let it go for now and address them later. Merely worrying without writing it out will definitely make the worry even worse.
Have a WORRY DATE.
Book a date or a meeting JUST FOR YOU to go through all of your worries. And, really give your fears the attention they deserve.
If worries or anxiety come up during the day, they must be important. They are there for a reason.
So, book 40 mins ALONE time. At least 2-hours before bed (7pm) and sit with all of what needs to be looked at.
Tell your family or roommates to give you space. DO NOT DISTURB.
Pull out your Worry List. And, worry away. Really give your worries the attention they need.
The longer you focus on something the more it will grow.
So, keep your WORRY TIME to no longer than 20 to 30 mins.
At the 20 min mark, you need to be wrapping up. So, make sure you cover the biggest or most important worries first.
If you’re edging into the 40 minute mark, you’re in there wayyyyyy toooooo long. Get out of there.
Close up your list. GET UP AND PHYSICALLY GO DO SOMETHING.
Shake it all off before bedtime.
Physically DO Something
Physically take some space from your thoughts.
Get up and MOVE your body, to shift out of the worries and anxiety.
Mow the lawn, take a cold shower, go for a brisk walk, wash the dishes. It really doesn’t matter what you DO, so long as you’re up and moving around, and doing something.
It is near impossible to inter-change a negative thought with a positive thought.
Dr. Daniel Siegel, the neuropsychologist from UCLA, suggests that it’s easier to come out of a thought by going into the body instead of trying to replace the thought. Since thinking occurs mostly in the front part of the brain, but physical movement is controlled by a part of the brain further back, when you go into your body, you’ll automatically come out of your thoughts and create a whole new experience and feelings.
Different physical postures and positions trigger different emotional states of being.
Research shows that when you wake up from a dream, if you don’t physically shift around, you’ll go back into that dream. If you have a nightmare, roll over, fluff your pillow, and straighten your blankets so you don’t go back in there. And, if you’re having a “good” dream, don’t move a muscle, otherwise you won't be able to go back into that dream.
Same thing with waking thoughts. If you don’t physically DO something to come out of the worries, you have missed the 3rd and final step of this strategy.
What did you learn today? Was this helpful for you? Are you gonna try it?
Drop me a note and say “hi”. And, share how this works for you.
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As always, if you need a hand with any of these strategies, or support with Spiritual Life Coaching, you know where to find me.