Throughout the Covid-19 virus crisis, anxiety has been a part of the lives of many. Even with the shut down orders in most states, many people are still anxious about their own health or the health of friends and loved ones.
People have been anxious about their education as schools are closed. More have been anxious about their jobs as employment has also been shut down for many people. Still others are anxious about loss of income and paying their bills.
There has been anxiety over supplies such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Anxiety over relationships as being at home with others all the time can be very stressful and in some cases even dangerous.
Some states are now beginning phased reopening. Some businesses are being allowed to reopen with guidelines. People are starting to come out of their houses in much greater numbers. The traffic in stores is increasing daily. Some people are being allowed to go back to work.
This brings fresh anxiety to many people. Will it be safe to go out? Will my family and friends be safe if they go out or if I go out and come back to them? Will I be protected in my work environment? Will reopening cause cases of the virus to go up?
All of these things are unknowns.
As so much of this virus is, unknowns are a huge part of this crisis. From the symptoms to when will things get back to “normal”. No one has all the answers and in some cases they have no answers at all.
This is all very difficult for humans. We do not enjoy unknowns. We want answers. We want to know. When this is not possible we get anxious. Reopening is just the latest in a long line of unknowns that can cause anxiety during this crisis.
So what can we do? Concentrate on what we do know, however little that might be. Concentrate on what is going on in our lives right now. Are we going back to work? How will that be managed? What can we do if we do not feel safe going back to work?
Concentrate on what we know right now for our friends and family. Are they healthy? How can they continue to be protected?
Stay focused on what is going on in the right now moment. Not on what you do not know and what no one can give you answers to.
You can also work to lower your response to anxiety. Meditation, deep breathing, exercise, journaling, hobbies, and other forms of self-care to continually train your mind and body to relax. Let go of negative or anxious thoughts by writing them or practicing the cloud technique of watching them float by and replacing them with positive or relaxing thoughts.
In this new world of unknowns the possibly of anxiousness seems to be lurking everywhere. We can work to avoid giving in to it and allowing it to overtake our emotions. We can’t have all the answers, but we can practice staying in the present moment with what we do know.