#51: The Anxiety edition

Adam Reed
Man Body Spirit
Published in
5 min readMar 20, 2021


Like the majority of Power Up readers, here in the Netherlands we’re now into our fourth month of ‘hard’ lockdown — with no end in sight.

This, I don’t need to tell you, is after more than a year now of on-off lockdowns and general heavy restrictions on life as we used to know it. So it goes without saying that we can’t wait for it to end.

But I would be lying if I told you I don’t have anxiety about how life will be when things begin to open up again.

I’ve grown accustomed to maintaining social distance from other shoppers in supermarkets; I’ve avoided crowded spaces; On the rare occasion we did venture to a restaurant last summer, the venue was understandably over diligent in their enforcement of safety protocols; I count myself lucky to still have a full-time job, and my employer has put zero pressure on us to visit the office in more than a year now. And, you know, I feel very secure in the bubble my partner and I have created for ourselves.

For the most part I never have to think about how thorough the cleaning has been in a cafe, store or office I’m visiting; I’m rarely (not never) confronted with other citizens acting as though there has never been a pandemic at all with their disregard for masks, distancing and who knows what else; I haven’t had party or event invitations that I’ve had to overthink for hours whether the pleasure & benefit I’ll get from attending can possibly outweigh the risks and anxiety…

… I’ll stop there, because the goal of this newsletter is absolutely not to make you anxious as well! — but rather to explore the topic of anxiety and provide you with tools and resources to help you if and when it arises in the coming weeks and months.

In this week’s issue:

  • Nervous about socialising? How to handle the end of lockdown
  • Rewiring the anxious brain: Neuroplasticity & the Anxiety Cycle
  • Is the way you breathe making you anxious?
  • How the pandemic has made Social Anxiety worse for many of us
  • Our anxiety hides in our habits. Here’s how to replace them
  • 10 recommended quotes & truths to read if you experience anxiety

Plus the usual array of bonus content too…

Whatever is causing anxiety in your life, I hope the content and resources below are a great help to you.

And if you’d like to receive The Power Up delivered direct to your inbox every weekend, you can sign-up here.

Nervous about socialising again? How to handle the end of lockdown

After a year of Zoom calls, safety bubbles and social distancing, some countries are preparing to allow mingling with friends and work colleagues once more.

Experts reveal what to do if the very idea brings you out in a cold sweat.

Rewiring the anxious brain: Neuroplasticity & the Anxiety Cycle

If you’re prone to experiencing anxiety, it doesn’t have to remain that way. We can rewire our brains to be less anxious through a simple- though not easy process.

Understanding the Anxiety Cycle, and how avoidance causes anxiety to spiral, unlocks the key to learning how to tone down anxiety and rewire our neural pathways to feel safe and secure.

Find out more in this 14 minute video.

Is the way you breathe making you anxious?

In his new book Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, journalist James Nestor argues that modern humans have forgotten how to breathe effectively. We breathe through our mouths and into our chests, and we do it way too fast, which has a negative impact on our physiology.

Meanwhile research has been discovering how using breathing techniques can help stave off anxiety, and help us find more calm and peace in our lives.

How the pandemic has made Social Anxiety worse for many of us

Being housebound for the past year mimics avoidance, a symptom of social anxiety.

Making matters worse, when we do venture out, we’re met with high-stakes stressors: like the possibility of getting sick and differing approaches to pandemic safety, increasing social anxiety further.

But what exactly is social anxiety & what can we do to ease its impact?

Our anxiety hides in our habits. Here’s how to replace them

Before we try any tips to reduce anxiety, we have to understand our own anxiety routines, a new book argues.

Only by showing our brain how unrewarding our anxiety-induced habits are — things like eating something sweet, or reaching for our social media newsfeed — can we create new ones and move forward.

So, you don’t want to talk to a Psychologist?
7 alternatives to talk therapy

Most people experience challenges to their mental health at some points in their life. However, only a fraction take the decisive action of talking to a psychologist.

We all know people who could benefit from spending time with a mental health professional, but for whatever reason they refuse to do so. Maybe you would place yourself in this category.

It’s always easy to find excuses to not do something good for you, such as getting enough sleep, exercising, or seeing a therapist. In most cases, psychotherapy helps people deal with a wide range of problems effectively.

Here are eight common reasons why people avoid therapy — followed by seven alternatives if you really cannot see a psychologist.


I hope you found something valuable in this The Power Up.

If you did, and would like to receive this in your inbox each week, you can sign-up here.

See you next time, Adam



Adam Reed
Man Body Spirit

I think and write about issues relating to 21st century masculinity, conscious living, holistic health & sustainable lifestyles. https://linktr.ee/manbodyspirit