Finding Balance In The Age Of COVID-19; Part III: Social Distancing Socializing And Balancing Anxiety

So, I just talked about all the things you shouldn’t be doing. You might be asking, well, what CAN I do? We’re social people. We’re also creative people, so let’s use our creativity to socialize while social distancing. As I was editing this blog today, I joined the largest party in the world from my bed. DJ D NICE had a live Instagram party. Michelle Obama, Janet Jackson,  Queen Latifah, Missy Elliot, Earth Wind and Fire, RiRi, Eve, Lenny Kravitz, Gabrielle Union, Presidential candidates, and on and on came through. At one point, we reached 102k partying together from our homes. I’ve been doing weekly Zoom hangouts, where you get on, grab a beverage of choice, and just decompress.You can still go outside. You can take a walk around your neighborhood; if you have a neighborhood park and nobody’s there, just remember to take the disinfect spray with you to spray things down, you could go for a few minutes.  If it’s 20 people there, then obviously that’s not social distancing. Get some sun, get some air, and get some energy out. There are lots of indoor activities you can do. Game nights, and movie nights. There are a ton of people releasing free activities on the internet right now. Free art lessons and dance lessons. People are doing free concerts that you can stream. Audible has released 100s of free books you can listen to, www.audible.com. There are lots of educational tools that are circulating free content because all the schools are out, and kids are home. (insert some links ) So there are things you can do during this time of social distancing. We just want you to be safe.


Vital Purpose

 The most vital purpose of this talk was to talk about finding a balance. Most of us are anxious, and we’re all trying to figure out what’s going on. We’re all just trying to find our way in our new reality. I am seeing a lot of behind the scenes things that a lot of people aren’t seeing. However, even without the “insider knowledge,” we know how things are going in Italy, France, and China. We  know the likely progression of how things can end up here. Most people will become anxious with this constant assault of information. All emotions are given to us for a reason, even anxiety. I always use “caveman times” as an example of why we have specific reactions such as anxiety. How would being anxious help keep the human race alive? If you are anxious about a saber tooth tiger, maybe you would set up a rotating guard amongst/around your clan. So anxiety helps us put fear and worry into action. Another example of a healthy amount of anxiety is when you have to study for a test. You may get anxious that if you don’t study, you will fail—the thought of failing causes you to study. 

Too much or too little anxiety affects your ability to get things done. So having that healthy amount of anxiety helps you put things into action. Things like social distancing, practicing your hygiene. Healthcare workers are banding together and demanding that we get protection.  We are banding together against the fact that they’re saying that we need to continue to work while we’re sick or lose our jobs, banding together to protect our patients and ourselves. How do we keep from becoming overwhelmed with anxiety? I am the first to say I have been overwhelmed lately. The pure callousness for the lives of US citizens shown in the lack of governmental response pushed me to the edge.  What did I do to bring things back to the center to spur action vs. being crippling? Well, things that have helped me include the #socialdistancesocializing discussed earlier. Phones still work, you can always actually dial a number and talk to people,

THINGS TO DO

Apps, and websites that offer calming tools and meditations have been helpful. There’s a “calm” app that’s free in every app store. There’s an app that I’ve been using the last few days that I absolutely enjoy called headspace. There is a free version and a paid version. 

Here is the link for Headspace.  Healthcare professionals that have an NPI number are offering us an account for free. You can also go to the App Store or YouTube and search meditation apps, calming tools, emotional regulation tools. If you are spiritual, there’s a lot of churches that are holding virtual prayer conferences or virtual service.  If you have a therapist, ask your therapist if they’re switching to telehealth or phone visits. There are apps  called talkspace and  better help  that offer licensed therapists services that do texting, phone visits, and video conferencing. So if you need that professional support, there are ways to get that while social distancing.

Take some time for yourself. You might need to take a break from the news or social media.  You don’t want to stick your head in the sand, but if you need a second to collect yourself so that you can then deal with situations that are going on, that is perfectly okay. So with that said, we need you to understand that this is serious. We need you to flatten the curve. We need to be able to treat people in a dispersed amount of time so that more lives aren’t lost. We need you to practice social distancing. We need you to practice hygiene, but we also need you, NOT TO PANIC. You want to find that balance between apathy and panic. Get right there in the middle, and let’s weather this storm together. We can do this!!! We can and will overcome, but we need everyone to do their part! 

Do you have any other ideas for #socialdistancesocializing or #findingyourbalance? Sound off below! 

Take some time for yourself. You might need to take a break from the news or social media.  You don’t want to stick your head in the sand, but if you need a second to collect yourself so that you can then deal with situations that are going on, that is perfectly okay.

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