Since there’s no escaping, I thought I’d reflect about how to manage your anxiety during this shit-show. (Hopefully this might be useful to other anxious humans as well!)
Dear Pre-Pandemic Me,
Stop saying ‘What if’… because it will probably happen!
There are difficult years ahead. Now is a good time to migrate to the moon. That being said, if the Home Office gets wind of this plan you’ll have to pay £50 for a 45 minutes test that nobody already living on the moon would know as part of your citizenship application.
Too late. Pandemic 2020+ is about to make a crash landing into earth.
Since there’s no escaping, I thought I’d reflect on how to manage your anxiety during this shit-show. (Hopefully this might be useful to other anxious humans as well!)
Your anxiety often manifests in imagining negative outcomes: ‘What if they don’t like me?’, ‘What if my phones on and I’m calling the person I’m talking about?’, ‘What if the bruise on my leg is a blood clot?’
During a pandemic you need to rethink this. You can’t ask ‘what if’ when everything is uncertain. ‘What if’ isn’t an option when your worries are likely to happen. And they do.
How can you deal with this?
1) Remember you’re not alone. Replace ‘main character’ energy with community and solidarity. Remind yourself that everyone is going through the same thing. We are all experiencing the devastating impact of the pandemic to varying degrees and in different ways – mentally, physically, and financially.
2) Wild swimming – the shock of the cold water and the vastness of the ocean is enough to make anyone to forget the C word for a bit. Especially if you’re swimming with wonderful women friends. As first lockdown lifts, beach days will be a peaceful escape.
3) Make sure you have something to look forward to. But be practical. There’s no point planning an exciting holiday only for it to be cancelled. However, you can schedule pizza making for Tuesday night. This is a way of coping with plans changing. You can still put big events in the diary but also give yourself little things to look forward to or prepare a Plan B. This will help lessen the permanent feeling of uncertainty.
I hope this helps 😉
PS: In carrying on from the dig at the Home Office at the beginning, I urge anyone reading this to look into the Nationality and Borders Bill which is chilling and terrifying: https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3023