Manage Anxiety During COVID with This Tip
Quarantining has given me ample opportunity to sit idle and worry even more. With so much time alone with my thoughts, it’s almost impossible not to be stressed for 70% of the day.
Of course, an easy way to keep my mind at ease is to stay busy and productive. Not only does it keep my mind distracted, I often feel better at the end of the day, knowing I’ve accomplished a few tasks on my to-do list.
Being busy created a whole new anxiety for me — I’m never quite as productive as I feel like I should be. Without my 9-to-5 job or friends to spend time with, I find myself searching for 12+ hours of things to do every day. I clean up my apartment, take my dog on a walk, I write a little bit, but I spend a big part of the day watching TV or mindlessly scrolling on Instagram. I inevitably feel guilty that I am not reading, writing more, working out, learning a new skill, or something else productive. The guilt leads to more anxiety and the anxiety leads to more fatigue, which leads to more guilt.
The infinite cycle was drowning me. My stomach was constantly sick. So, I stopped. I stopped telling myself that I needed to fill every waking hour with a productive activity. I stopped judging myself for sleeping or watching a show I’ve seen before. I stopped beating up on myself and just took a deep breath.
Why would I value my productivity level more than my own peace of mind? During a global pandemic no less? I decided it wasn’t worth it and I chose to prioritize my mental health over my productivity. This is the time to be gentle with myself.