Tension, pressure, fear, anxiety are all seeming to rise every day. In the middle of this pandemic, we are all having to face these feelings and emotions. And while this is something that cannot be helped in a lot of ways, we cannot sustain these feelings.
This has been true in my life.
Since quarantines and lockdowns began revolving around COVID-19, I have been experiencing much of the tension, pressure, and anxiety. All of it built by scare tactics of the media and uncertainty by the government.
At first, it felt like a big wall that hit me. It almost stopped me in my tracks. Then it felt like someone was piling bricks on my chest, one brick a day. Until lately they have been feeling so heavy I thought it would turn into a full-on panic attack.
This is happening to so many people though. We are trying to cope with this unusual circumstance that hasn’t happened since the Spanish Flu. We don’t know exactly what we are doing, but we need to do something.
For me, I finally figured out what I needed to do. After doing it, I know it is what you need too.
Stop, Take a Break, and Breathe
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes… including you.” — Author Anne Lamott
I am taking this week off from work. This has been the first break I needed to take. It has given me a chance to slow down a little and focus on myself and my family. We have been connecting with friends and family a little bit more too.
It has been good for my soul.
The bricks have been unloading from my chest each day and I am beginning to feel more like myself. Sure, COVID-19 precautions are still going on, but the connection with old friends and family has been good for me.
Sometimes, we need to stop, take a break, and breathe.
When we do this, it gives us the chance to look at the world more clearly. It helps us unload the anxiety and tension we are carrying around with us. Most of all, it allows us to enjoy what we have around us.
Pick a day this week or next, and take a day off to do whatever you want to do. Just make sure it is truly restful.
Slow Down, Reflect, and Stop Being Distracted
“Our world needs more time to wonder and reflect but there is too much fast-paced constant distraction.” — Mister Rogers.
One of the things I realize about pressure and fear is how much I try to keep myself distracted. With everything going on in the world, I try to add projects, and tasks, and getting things done so I don’t think much about how I am doing.
All of this distraction and stuff might keep me from thinking about what is going on in the world right in front of my mind, but it still weighs on me. Most of the time it is keeping me from thinking about what is really important too.
Sometimes, we simply need to slow down, reflect on how we are doing, and stop distracting ourselves.
When I slow down, reflect on how I am doing, and focus on me a little bit more, I can find ways to deal with stress, anxiety, fear, and tension. I can use different techniques to relieve how I feel.
Try taking an hour this week to slow down a little bit and check-in with yourself.
Step Into Joy Today
“Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk missing out when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.” — Brene Brown
Since taking a week off of work, I started spending time enjoying the little moments. Making breakfast for my kids. Taking a shower. Going for a run. Sitting outside and reading a book.
All of these things have helped me to slow down and find joy in my everyday life.
This morning, for example, I spent time sipping my coffee watching the sun come up through the trees. Wrapped up in a blanket, the quiet of the house gave me a sense of peace that I had been missing over the last couple of months.
When my kids woke up, and everyone got moving in the house, I could still go slow and enjoy each moment as they came. The bricks of tension, stress, and anxiety are gone. And all I am left with is joy, peace, and happiness.
And it all started with taking a break.
How can you stop, take a break, slow down, reflect and begin to find joy in the middle of all the tension, pressure, fear, and anxiety going on in the world today?
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