I have always lived with anxiety but it has been through the roof lately. Watching the news of the earthquakes in horror with a death toll at a number my mind cannot comprehend. More than 33,000 have lost their lives. The feeling of hopelessness can be extremely overwhelming so here is my list of coping mechanisms. I am not a doctor, so this list is of course a personal toolbox that helps me when my anxiety spikes. Hope you find them helpful:
1. It is ok to switch off
I am not very good at it, but I am trying. We are bombarded with horrific news daily. I used to feel guilty because people are literally stuck under the rubble and dying and here I am feeling "anxious" but trust me you are not helping them by getting yourself sick.
2. The 2 column method
Column 1 is for things you have control over and column 2 is for things you can't control. For instance, regarding the horrific earthquakes, I can control what I donate and to whom. What I have zero control over is the death toll.
3. Value connections
When I went to France for four days a few months ago I realised how much I missed deep meaningful connections. I am lucky to have people in London that I consider family, but they live far away. We think that a few WhatsApp messages will cut it, but it truly doesn't. I am making a conscious effort to organise catch-ups with people I love.
I cannot stress this enough. Even if you use a piece of printer paper and a pen, it will have the magic to bring to the surface so many things and it will help you make sense of so many emotions. A mini-review of your day will help you gather information about yourself and how you react to things. It is a massive stress reliever.
5. Long walks
Last but not least. They do wonders for my anxiety. Fresh air and seeing people will stop the chain of negative thoughts.
If you suffer from severe anxiety, you should consult your GP. There is no shame. I read somewhere that it was a sign of health to be anxious in these crazy times and I completely agree.