If I have a superpower, it’s definitely my ability to worry. I come from a long line of worriers. My grandmother was a worrier, my mother is a worrier and I seem to have inherited this flair. And now pandemics have a way of re-igniting this force in me.
Stress and worry affect our lives in so many ways. These psychological issues can reduce our productivity and make us feel powerless. Worrying is connected to problem-solving but seems to be more of the dysfunctional mean stepsister. Worrying is particularly relevant for people who are problem-solvers. There is a very fine line between problem-solving and worrying. Problem-solving is about applying creative strategies to specific issues, worrying is about letting your mind dwell on problems, often without a systematic approach, sometimes leading to anxiety, unease and even worse, depression.
Because of COVID-19, worrying has become so commonplace for me, that I thought I might share my copying skills in case this might be helpful for others. My suggestions are not based on a double-blind randomized controlled trial conducted by ivy league researchers. These are coping ideas that I have developed that work for me so I thought I might offer them to you.
Worrying seems to be related to my compulsion to try to control certain aspects of my life. The second I am not able to clearly visualize a plan, the worrying begins to seep in. So, here is a list of coping activities that I have been doing:
1.) Sleep- I typically fall short of the recommended time for sleeping with my usual schedule, but with no responsibilities these days as a mamma uber driver, I have more time, so I cuddle up under the fluffy blankets and sleep.
2.) Chocolate- Right now Yoddles and Ding Dongs are doing the trick.
3.) Play- Words With Friends is my go-to game app on my iPhone and iPad. It has a good byproduct, it helps me improve my vocabulary and utilization of words starting with the letters X, Y, and J.
4.) Cook- One of the only times that I have been able to truly engage with laser focus is when I am preparing a meal, especially if I have to follow a recipe. One of the most therapeutic activities for me is to bake or cook.
5.) Organize- My closet and my home office have been long neglected targets. Organizing is another activity that requires focus and thought, leaving little room for worry to creep in.
6.) Watch- Not my most effective way to eliminate my worries, but ridiculous TV series such as Netflix’s “Tiger King” and “Ozark” are so absurd and paint such a bleak picture of humanity, that they tend to make me feel better about the reality we are currently experiencing, even if just for a little while.
I’m interested to hear if any of you are battling an overabundance of worry and anxiety and the ways you have been successfully coping. Please share your stories and anecdotes.