Right now everything is in a bit of upheaval. I’m not working for at least two weeks, but it will probably be more than that. I don’t have any guaranteed money coming in after those two weeks and it’s very stressful to think about. One thing about me that is just a part of me is that I like the structure of going to work. Structure and keeping a schedule is important for me to maintain mental and emotional stability. If that structure goes away, even for a few days, I begin to feel incredibly stressed because I’m not in control of whats happening with my life.
So right now I am being told that I am not able to work for an indefinite amount of time. I’m not allowed to make money to provide for myself for an indefinite amount of time. I can’t meet up with a group of friends and work out for an indefinite amount of time. Right now with all the doom and gloom and apocalypse scenarios I’m hearing from different news sources, life isn’t making sense right now. And I know that almost everyone I know is experiencing similar things. There have been times when I feel my anxiety or my depression starting to rise up, wanting to take over. Those are the moments that I have to stop and take a breath. I stop and ask myself a few questions and go through a checklist. This checklist helps me. I’m not saying it will cure your stress, anxiety, depression, or any pandemic virus for that matter, but anything that helps is a positive. So when you feel yourself spiraling like I do every few hours, try going through this checklist or use it it to make your own.
Balance what you can control
This is a major one. There is so much beyond my control right now that it’s important for me to ground myself in what I can control. I can control quite a few things right now. I’m still setting my alarm every morning and getting up and following my normal routine of breakfast and getting ready for the day. I exercise every day. This is incredibly important for me. It’s not about my fitness or my strength or body goals. Taking a couple weeks off of working out might do my body some good. I’m working out for my mental well-being. Working out is one of my primary management tools for my depression and it’s important that I take my exercise every day like a prescription. With no work, it would be easy for me to use it as an excuse to sleep weird hours and stay up binge watching netflix, but waking up with the sun every day and exercising in some form has been and will be important for me to stick to.
That may mean something different for you. Staying on a wake/sleep schedule like I am might not be the way for you to go. Being in control of your food prep (there’s plenty of time for me to cook now), going for walks at certain times of the day, talking with loved ones, or maybe finally catching up on sleep and relaxation is something you can now control. The key is to find the things you can control while it feels like your world is spinning out of control and then being consistent with those things.
Remember the old saying, “This too, shall pass.” Reminding myself of this is something that helps keep me calm when I start feeling overwhelmed. Whether my anxiety is getting out of control or depression is taking a hold of me, I always try to remember that this is not forever. It might not feel like it right this second, but everything that is going on right now will run its course, society will get restore its order, and we will go back to working. When this is over, our “normal” might look a little different than it did before, but things will settle down and return to normal. I remind myself that my current circumstances are not forever. You are not trapped, you are just waiting. And waiting requires patience. Good things will come after this storm.
With all this extra time, identify the good things that you are able to pursue right now that you wouldn’t otherwise have the time to. Almost everyone has hobbies that they sometimes wish that they had more time to pursue! Now is a great time to take the time to pursue those hobbies or search for a new hobby to try! Reading, learning a new skill, gardening, cleaning, painting, or any of the other fabulous crafts and skills are just waiting for you to take some time pursuing right now. For something new, I guarantee that there are free tutorials on YouTube that you can find to help get you started.
One great thing about having more time on my hands is the ability and mental energy to write more than I usually do. Most normal days, I’m too mentally taxed from work or other things that I don’t have the mental energy to write anything or to be creative. So I plan on using my extra time wisely and write more so that when things do return to normal, I can spend my energy then to re-adjust back. Because I’m sure that once I get back to work, I’ll miss all the free time that I have right now. I have also used this time to organize and clean out my closet that I’ve been needing to. On a regular weekend, there just never seems like I have the right time or opportunity. But now? I have no excuse or reason why I can’t!
Because everyone is going through similar things in their own minds or with their families, there has been great opportunities to connect and collaborate with others during this past week. Because we are distanced a bit, reaching out to friends and family and friends has been something I’ve been trying to do daily. Because I’m not expending all my energy at work, I have been making more of a point to reach out to the people I care about.
My son is thrilled about no going to school. He doesn’t quite grasp the idea that he’ll just have to make up this time missed later on the year when he’s supposed to have his summer break. But until then, I’ve been enjoying walks in the park while he plays Pokemon Go on my phone. I’m not quite as hardcore into the game, but he is, and spending the time where he can play and enjoy himself and tell me all the odd facts about what he’s doing is a good way to pass our time. I’m incredibly lucky that the weather where I live is gorgeous this time of year and that we are able to spend a lot of time outdoors (not in crowds, obviously), and not cooped up. I understand that this covid-19 situation has yet to play itself out yet, and that starting this week, we will be restricted to staying cooped up for a time. But until then, I’m trying to take advantage of the outdoors safely while we can.
True rest is difficult to come by. When things seem to spinning out of control, it’s difficult to put my mind at ease. But in reality, with this time off that I have, it’s the perfect time to rest and to dream of the future a little bit. Envisioning what I want out of life can help ground me in moment. Taking my focus off of the current stress and things I can’t change, and instead, focusing on what will be, helps me. It provides a little escape, while giving me time to create a vision for my life in the future.
When I am fearful of what the future holds, I always take stock of the things I am believing for my future. I am believing that I will go back to work after these few weeks are over. I am believing that I will be financially fine during this time. I am believing that we’re going to be ok. I might need to cut a few luxuries, but in the end, we will have everything we need to be healthy and safe. Now, it could be argued that a couple of those things that I am believing for is unrealistic. But why is it impossible? The universe is unlimited, so believing for the best doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The law of attraction states that we draw into our lives what we focus on. If all we focus on is the negative and worst case scenarios, chances are good that we will experience the negative things that we are focusing on. Conversely, if we focus on good things, good things will manifest in our lives. If you are interested in learning more about manifesting good things into your life, I highly recommend you check out my friend Misti’s YouTube channel that I linked. She is currently doing a series of videos to reach out and help people navigate this time of confusion.
The most important thing is to figure out a strategy that works well for you. Maybe one of my suggestions will help you, maybe all of them will, maybe you’re already doing everything you can and you’re still struggling. If you are still struggling, please reach out. I’m here to help if you feel like you don’t have anyone else to talk to. Send me a message and we’ll chat! I may not have all the answers, but I have a heart to listen and help where I can!
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Right now everything is in a bit of upheaval. I’m not working for at least two weeks, but it will probably be more than that. I don’t have any guaranteed money coming in after those two weeks and it’s very stressful to think about. One thing about me that is just a part of me […]