Anxiety and What I Do

Anxiety during this time is something that I think a lot of people are struggling with (myself included).  Whether you are self-isolating or are part of the amazing group of people that continue to work in order to flatten the curve of this pandemic, most things in life are uncertain which is incredibly anxiety inducing. With more time on a lot of people’s hands, it is hard to figure out how to fill time and ensure that mental health and self-care are a top priority.  While those things are important, it’s also important to keep a sense of normalcy and routine, which can significantly reduce anxiety. 

For me, I am still working occasionally when it’s needed, but I do have a lot of extra time on my hands and that has been hard to deal with. Due to my past struggles with eating disorders and my addictive personality it’s easy for me to find my way back to anything that helps me forget about reality and the difficult situation that we are all in, but it’s my responsibility to myself to not let that happen. While I can sit here and blame pretty much anything that helps me rationalize not eating, bingeing to the point of being sick, drinking too much or whatever else, I am ultimately responsible for how I handle my life and so here are a few things that I do in order to keep my sanity.

1. Color: Yes I know, I’m 27 and I’m coloring like a 5 year old who just discovered markers and pictures for the first time. I currently have 4 different coloring books of varying difficulty (patterns, pictures, funny slogans) and probably over 100 markers. When I’m feeling blah and don’t feel like doing something super productive I just sit and color which is mind numbing but also leaves you with something pretty you can keep or send to someone.

2. Walk: While I do like working out and doing other things, walking is something that most people can do. It’s low impact, gets you outside (6ft apart from anyone else of course) and helps your heart and mind. If you have pups it’s super easy to find an excuse, but if I’m needing to clear my head, I’ll get my headphones, put on a good podcast or youtube video and just walk til that’s done and most of the time I do feel a lot better.

3. Routine: This is a big one. I am used to waking up before 0400 most days and while I’m not doing that now, I am still waking up at a decent hour when I don’t have work. I start my day with my greens and multi vitamin, make coffee, take the dogs out and then start my day. This morning routine keeps me in a good place to have a productive day whether or not I have to go in to work. Another thing I make sure I do is prioritize what I need to get done like cleaning, laundry and working out. I am still working out 5-6 days a week and just modifying my gym workouts to be done at home so I can somewhat keep up what I worked so hard for in the gym.

4. Workout: Do something at least 4 times a week. On top of the walking, do some body weight exercises, set a goal to do a certain number of reps every day, get a set of dumbbells or gallons of water to use at weights. In short, just get your body moving. I personally do 100 squats and 100 jumping jacks daily, I split them up into 5 sets of 20 each and do them in a superset…20 squats right into 20 jumping jacks repeated 5 times. This can be done at any point in the day and my favorite time to do them is when I’m waiting for something to cook.

5. Read: This one is hard for some people and easy for others. I have a few books on my phone so I read those occasionally, but I’m trying to get at least 20 minutes of reading in a few times a week with an actual hard copy of a book. Along with reading, podcasts are a great way to stay educated and take your mind of things. I’m currently reading Hunger, Hope and Healing, which is a yoga approach to recovery from disordered eating.

6. Talk: If you are not fortunate to be spending time with someone you love or a friend, make sure to use the thing that’s constantly in your had for something good. Call or FacetTme people and make sure you’re staying connected especially because we have no idea how long this social distancing thing will last.

Here are just 6 things that can help during this time of social distancing and some of the things that I am currently doing to get out of my own head. While I still enjoy a drink every now and then, I am not drinking to excess and have been making sure to drink more water than anything (at least a gallon a day). In terms of eating, some days are better than others but I have not binged in months and am very proud of that. Keeping busy is important and doing something productive with what time you have is also important and can make you feel much better about the current situation. With that, if you ever need anything, my comments are always open and if you know me personally I’m always available to help in any way I can. I hope this helped someone who’s feeling a little off lately and if you have any suggestions make sure to leave me a comment. Happy Easter Weekend to you all and may you stay healthy both mentally and physically!

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