What a time to be alive! Mandatory social distancing, mass furloughs and job loss, global fatalities, separated families, home-schooled children, mask controversies, political insanity, racial unrest… our collective experience of sudden change is unbelievable. And when this is all over (and it will be over!), just imagine the stories we’ll have to tell.
2020 just does not seem to want to let up. 9 months into the year, and we are definitely not any better off than when we started. Life has rapidly transformed before our eyes.
There are reports saying people who were diagnosed with anxiety prior to 2020 are dealing with this year a little easier than others, and are even experiencing a sense of calm. There are all sorts of theories from experts, but as someone with anxiety, I say many of us have simply mastered coping mechanisms. We have figured out a way to push through the pain. Panic, fear, and uncertainty are daily occurrences for anxiety-prone people, so we are no strangers to struggle.
This year has taken a lot from me. From major business partnerships, to planned vacations, and unfortunately, the loss of loved-ones. Prior to these hardships, when the pandemic was painted as minor problem, I said these words:
I refuse to let this year break me.
I have cried, I have screamed, I have fallen to my knees, but I am not broken.
I pray every day to survive 2020. I am determined to maintain my sanity, my faith, and of course, my edges. In order to survive the rest of this year, intact, I’ve compiled a master plan:
1. Stay present. We often experience anxiety and fear when looking too far ahead, or dwelling upon the past. Staying plugged into the present moment empowers you to act on things you can actually control- like spending time with your family, re-centering your mind, or participating in something else you love.
2. Stick to the facts. Challenge the irrational stories you are telling yourself with the cold, hard truth. Be sure you are making decisions based on facts, not fears, and avoid assumptions and anxiety-driven predictions about what life will be like after the pandemic is over.
3. Limit/edit the content you are absorbing every day. Stop clicking every link, news update, and horror story you see. While it is essential to stay aware and informed, try to avoid the negativity overload.
4. Be intentional with your habits. Being quarantined provides an abundance of free time. Use the extra hours to invest in your faith and spirituality! Food for the soul never fails. Read something motivational, watch something educational, create something inspirational... you get the idea. And if you are having trouble actively doing something, try active rest. Many of us are emotionally exhausted after months of chaos and uncertainty. Designate time for recreation, resting, and recharging.
5. Check your record. There has never been a time when you did not survive. God has your back, and you will ultimately land on your feet, even after taking a hard fall. There are greater powers in the universe guiding your every step. Don’t be afraid to let yourself be guided by your faith!
All in all, a little self-care can go a long way during these tumultuous times. I’m determined to elevate my spiritual, emotional, and mental health through these helpful tips. And I would love if you joined me on this journey to health, healing, and happiness.
Written By: Nakeia Homer