Pandemic Anxiety and trying to find Peace

This post is about to get real. You’re about to know the lengths anxiety can take you during a pandemic. Not ready for that? Stop reading.

Still here? Oh good. That means you’re either a rebel like me or you just are horrible at following directions. Either way, here we are.

When this COVID19 pandemic first started, those of us who have anxiety disorders were like “oh hey, welcome to the club, here’s your jacket” to those of you who had never experienced this fun rabbit hole experience. We were strangely cool, calm and collected at first. Our previously anxiety free friends were asking us about coping tools and ways to deal. We were gods/goddesses.

Fast forward months later…and our coolness is now fairly luke warm. I recently saw a mask or a shirt that had the caption on it “calm down Karen, it’s just allergies” and I chuckled and immediately thought of the anxious caption back of “But what if it’s not Susan?!?!“. That’s what anxiety is. We question and overthink ALL the things!

At first I could tell myself I am prepared. I am normally a freak about avoiding getting sick so this should be a breeze for me, right? And at first, that was enough to keep me calm…I would just remember how ninja-like my sickness avoidance skills are and I would calm down. Somewhere along the way, I lost that ability to reassure myself. It will go something like this now:

One of my kids: “mom my stomach hurts..”

Me: *whips out Thermometer/O2 pulseometer to check their stats, and phone to Google COVID19 symptoms*

Kid: *farts* “oh nevermind mom, it was just gas

COVID19 went from being “just a new scare” to being a full blown other sickness/illness for anxious people everywhere to worry about. And to be a parent too? Oh lawd, strap on your seatbelt. As someone eloquently put it to me recently “this being a mom crap during a pandemic is bullsh**”. Yes. Yes it is.

We all have a lot to think about. And parents of school aged kids have even more to think about at these times. Do I send my child back to school? Do I possibly quit my job and have them distance learn? Do I buy matching family hazmat suits? (Only half kidding about that last one….check my Amazon history, I have seriously checked into it). The worst part about all of it is no one has an answer. Because at the end of the day. What’s right for my family, isn’t necessarily right for yours. That stinks because it can lead you to feeling very alone in the decisions that you have to make.

So, what is my solution? I know you all are used to my problem-solution type writing…and I hate to let you down, but I got nothing. Sort of. By this I mean, I can’t take your anxiety away. Shoot, I can’t even take MY anxiety away sometimes! What I can offer you is some advice.

One: try not to criticize yourself for the decisions you have to make. We do the best we can with what we have. And what we have (or sometimes don’t have) is information.

Second: take care of yourself. Seriously. Do things that feel good to you. Take a bubble bath, spend time with your family, get a massage, do some yoga, go for a walk, hug your dog…whatever it is. Just do the thing that feels like nourishment to your soul.

Third: anxiety lives in the future and the past. Louder for those in the back- ANXIETY LIVES IN THE FUTURE AND PAST. It lives in the places we have little control over changing. That is why it feels so helpless to be in a state of anxiousness. How do you counteract that? By living in the present moment. What is happening RIGHT NOW that I can enjoy. For me, right now, one of my dogs is sitting snuggled up against me as I write this. I can hear my 8 year old singing a song from “The Greatest Showman” (a million dreams….a song he knows almost every word to btw, my little rockstar) in the other room and it makes me smile and tear up a little. That is my RIGHT NOW. So what is in the RIGHT NOW for you?

Until next time,

Jenn

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