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Anxiety

An Introverts Guide to Surviving a Pandemic + Easing Your Anxiety


Is it just me or is it crazy how quickly our lives have come to a screeching halt? A week ago I was trying to juggle both of my jobs, workout, and tend to my creative pursuits all while prioritizing time to rest and recharge. Your girl was hustling and in desperate need of some serious downtime! As always, the universe was working it’s magic in the background, preparing for a shift that would force all of us to slow things down a notch…the global pandemic of 2020. 

Our world has been struck with a very serious illness that’s spreading like wildfire. Many of us have been forced into self isolation, are working from home, or have been laid off as the coronavirus continues to spread. Out of respect for those around us, we are being forced to practice #socialdistancing and stocking up on toilet paper at warp speed…once I figure out the fear associated with running out of TP I’ll get back to you guys. 

With all of this newfound free time, I can’t help but notice the alarming amount of people struggling to keep themselves entertained. The minute I hop on social media it’s all “I’m bored” or “there’s nothing to do”. HOW? For us introverts, this forced solitude is a dream come true! The universe has answered our prayers and we are revelling in the calm and blissful energy that stems from spending time in our safe space. 

Looking for ways to keep yourself from going stir crazy? 

10 Ways to Keep Yourself Busy During Social Distancing 

Condensing this list into 10 things was pretty tricky. There are literally SO many ways we can channel our energy right now! Nonetheless, here are a few of my faves. 

Read a Book 

Who doesn’t love curling up with a cup of steeped tea and their favourite book? Or maybe you’ve been putting off that stack of books because you’ve been too busy tending to everyday life, that’s fair. Now seems as good a time as any to get cozy and allow yourself a temporary escape from the chaos and overwhelming media presence. I find self-help books or any form of positive and enlightening literature is allowing me to remain sane at this time. Whatever your flavour, pick up that book and stimulate your mind!

Workout at Home 

The majority of gyms and community centres are currently closed which means us fitness junkies are being forced to get creative! If you have equipment to workout from home, awesome. If not, play around with different things in your apartment. I was literally curling my crystal lamps the other day…desperate times my friends. You can even try incorporating yoga or stretching into your daily routine which requires zero equipment. The most important thing is to keep your body moving! 

WHO even am I?

Go For a Run (Unless you’re sick, in which case stay home) 

I am not a runner. In fact, I would go as far as to say that I hate running. There are very few things in life that I dislike as much as the agonizing pain of shin splints and calf cramps. Any yet here I am begrudgingly heading out for a run each day in an attempt to stay sane! Cardio strengthens our immune system and allows our body to fight off viral infections such as COVID-19. I’m certainly not complaining about the much needed rush of endorphins either #runnershigh

Cuddle Your Fur Babies 

For all my fellow dog mammas out there, this ones for you. Are your pets as ecstatic as mine to be lounging around all day at home with you? Truthfully when all is right in the world, I bring my dogs to the office with me (so it’s really not a major adjustment for them). But my energy has changed, I’m more comfortable and relaxed in the comfort of my own home and I can tell that they are very much intune with this shift. If you’re working from home and have time to smother your babes with love and affection, do it! Connecting with our four legged friends increases levels of oxytocin in the brain which has an overall calming effect. 

Cook Healthy Meals 

I have a confession to make. I’m a very health conscious person with major dietary restrictions which means I’m constantly cooking and meal prepping my own food. But last week I had friends in town to celebrate my birthday which meant eating out a TON and indulging in more desserts than I’m proud of. Well lucky me! Now that everything is temporarily closed until further notice, I’ve got all the time in the world to play around with different recipes and cook nutritious meals that make me feel strong and healthy. If you’re lacking inspiration or find yourself eating the same food everyday, check out Pinterest for some new recipes. Reconnect with your body and take this time to fuel it with home cooked meals. Getting creative in the kitchen is a blast and I’m here for it! 

Fill your body with nutrients!

Take a Nap 

Who doesn’t love a good nap? No one, that’s who. Most of us are guilty of running around extremely sleep deprived as a result of pressing schedules and responsibilities. I believe this pandemic is a gift from the universe reminding us to slow down and rest, to take care of ourselves and recharge our internal battery. If you’ve been experiencing a sleep deficit, now is the time to catch up on some much needed shut eye! Take a nap, hell take a few naps #napqueen 

Clean Your Apartment 

Ok ok just hear me out. Spring cleaning is most likely NOT at the top of your priority list right now and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, if you’ve been procrastinating reorganizing your cupboards or purging your closet, what better time than now to declutter and cleanse your sanctuary? If you ask me, there is no such thing as being too clean #ocdproblems. A tidy space provides mental clarity, sparks inspiration, and prevents the spread of bacteria. If this pandemic is making you feel overly anxious, throw on some ABBA and get cleaning! 

Create Beautiful Art 

Free time means endless hours to create! Whether you’re a writer, dancer, painter, singer, photographer, or musician, USE this opportunity to get lost in your passions. I am usually pretty resentful when it comes down to the amount of time and energy I spend working during the week. It takes away from my ability to create beautiful art and leaves me feeling drained and lacking in inspiration. Take this time to reconnect with your purpose and fuel your creativity.

FaceTime Your Loved Ones 

Feeling the struggle that is #selfisolation? Pick up your phone and FaceTime your bestie, your mom, your long distance friends and family. Being cooped up inside doesn’t have to limit our connections with the ones we love. If anything, we now have the time to actually sit and engage in conversation, catch up on the goings on of our lives, and spend quality time with each other! Technology has blessed us with this gift. Use it to your advantage and reconnect with your inner circle. 

Listen to Music 

I’m sure most of us listen to music on a daily basis, pandemic or not. Why? Because it makes us feel good and has the power to shift or enhance our mood. Listening to music stimulates our auditory nerves and can be very therapeutic. If you’re feeling unmotivated or anxious, throw on something uplifting! One of my faves right now is “Kids by MGMT”. Feeling defeated? Lean into your emotions and embrace a full blown ugly girl cry to “Fade into You by Mazzy Star”. Artists from around the world have created music for our enjoyment. Whatever feelings you’re experiencing in this exact moment, they’ve felt them too. Put on your favourite playlist for some temporary relief during all this craziness, have a dance party, cry it out. Just do it! 

When we experience feelings of anxiety, our body works overtime in an attempt to rationalize our fears and calm our nervous system. We expend so much energy worrying, that achieving happiness and peace can seem impossible! Take a breath, disconnect, and focus on getting out of your head and into your body. 

Some days are easier than others and that’s to be expected. I find that remaining aware and reminding myself that this is a global crisis, we are ALL experiencing hardship, and I am NOT the only one struggling right now, has provided me with the strength to keep on trudging through the fog. We are literally all in this together! Our circumstances could always be worse, and for whatever reason, this pandemic has occurred to teach us strength, unity, and resilience. 

Practice compassion, gratitude, and love during this time. Support your family and friends and allow them to express themselves in whatever way they need to right now to feel safe. 

See you all on the other side! 

Xoxo

Beautiful Train Wreck

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