My Covid Times Diary – Anxiety (March 26th)
Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. ~ Rev Kane
So my original intention was to write this diary once a week, I’d fill it in, in bits and tie it up in a nice bow on Tuesday nights and send it out. That’s still the plan, but after yesterday I realized that at least for this week, I needed to write one a bit earlier.
I’m not an anxious person, not a worrier, I have a tendency to attack issues that are bothering me and if they can’t be addressed, I’m pretty good at letting them go. I have a lot of worriers in my life, you know who you are. I’ve been making a point as the whole Covid19 issue has been growing, to reach out and try and talk them down a bit. As I mentioned in my last post, overall, my biggest worries with all of this are for members of my family and I’m doing what I can to help with those situations.
You can see the anxiety all around us as the pandemic first entered, and now has firmly taken hold in America. You can see worried posts online, you can see it as people write about their new situations, their struggles juggling work, home schooling and sheltering in place. You can even see it in the way people are even attacking each other, you can see that their anger is really just their anxiety manifesting itself onto someone else.
I’m generally fairly immune to most of this, but I guess no one is completely immune at the moment as I learned yesterday. Work has fully transitioned to a remote clone of it’s in person self. Yesterday was one of those typical days where every conversation seemed to turn into a knife fight. Innocent emails were interpreted as nefarious acts spawning conspiracy theories, outbursts and anger. Now I get it, I know a lot of it is just people currently existing in uncertain situations filled with change and anxiety. So they aren’t on their best game, yet it never feels good to be dealing with angry and anxious people acting out especially when they direct it at you.
One of the things you realize when you’re stressed, and have no doubt anxiety is just another form of stress, is that what falls away from you first is your emotional reserves. That emotional cushion that allows you to take some hits to your psyche, not react and bounce back. I realized last night that I was in that state, that the day had gotten to me a little more than it should have. There is a feeling that I hate more than anything in the world, it’s the feeling I would have, that knot in my stomach I would get as a kid when my father was drunk and on a rampage, screaming at my mother. I found myself with a minor bit of that feeling last night, that was the big tip off for me of where I was.
So I did what I do, I did a little writing, listened to a little music and laid down and meditated awhile watching my psychedelic lights. I nodded off watching a television show I like. I slept restlessly last night but woke up feeling a bit better. Today helped a lot, we got some great news for a couple of our programs. I watched my Cosmetology faculty and staff in a less than two hours completely revamp their program to deal with our new reality. It was an amazing demonstration of collaborative work, out of the box thinking and truly caring about students and what’s best for them. I was massively impressed and in awe of them all. Then a bit later a faculty member shared a really uplifting note she got from one of her students. Those reminders of why we do what we do really helped today.
For all of us, that anxiety we’re feeling is likely to really ramp up over the next few weeks. A couple of things are about to happen, testing is expanding across the country so we are going to see a lot more positive cases. Second, the infection is going to continue spreading, today the US registered a higher number of cases than any other country on earth. So those numbers are going to get really scary, the news headlines will get ugly. The amount of stress and anxiety people have will expand. You also may see tighter restrictions on people, more shelter in place orders, schools are out until May and likely for the year. As all of this starts to settle in, people are going to get very anxious.
So get ready, people will get snippy, shorter with you, blow ups will be far more frequent on you social media platforms. But I have some great advice for you, unplug. You know what you need to know at this point. You know you have to social distance, you know going out to anyplace with people is a bad idea. The only thing you’re learning from the news and your social media is the equivalent of the details of a car crash. You don’t need that, it’s not good for you. So, listen to more music, watch more videos, read more books, in a socially responsible way get out of the house and walk, run, but most of all enjoy having the sun on your face. Be kinder than normal, be patient.
I know it sounds biblical as hell, but this too shall pass. We will come out the other side, but it’s going to be a hell of a ride the next two weeks, make sure you protect your psyche and take care of yourself. As always, you can reach out to me if you need to Happinesskane@aol.com helping someone else always make me, and likely you, feel a little bit better. ~ Michael “Rev” Kane