A few weeks ago I wrote that I was very happy with the quarantine - I was fulfilled being with my beloved husband and I had many things to do. But out of the blue lately, I've been attacked by that ole' demon hyperventilation. If you've never hyperventilated, it's kind of like feeling you need to take a deep breath or that you need to yawn. It's persistent and usually goes away, but once it gets into a cycle, it takes some meds to stop it. That's where I am this week and last week. I get stressed and don't even know why. I have been content to stay at home and do my favorite things - read, write, and binge-watch videos with my husband. So why the sudden attack of anxiety?
Deep breaths help a bit, but it is a struggle. People who've never experienced this sometimes see it as a weakness - a way of not being in control. I wish I could mentally control it and eradicate its presence the minute I begin to feel it. In the past physicians have told me to breathe into a paper bag. Somehow that never worked. My pulse is racing as I write this and I feel fear. Fear of what? I imagine most of us have experienced some fear as this is a new world for us. New expectations. New standards. I am as confused as the next person about this coronavirus. I'm not sure if we are doing all the right things or if we need to do it differently. I feel that there are so many opinions, I don't know what to do with all the information. But I do have a plan:
1. Stay in the present. Practice mindfulness.
2. Self talk - I am safe. I am good. I am loved.
3. Preventive measures - get enough sleep. Last night I had less than 5 hours sleep. That may account for some of the anxiety....
4. Drink more water!
5. Continue trying to move more, as my hobbies aren't conducive to movement!
6. Think positively.
7. Practice gratitude - what are three things I am grateful and think of it daily.
8. Do my best to not allow my anxiety to infect others.
9. Keep busy. Too much free time is not healthy, I've found.
10. Read, write, and keep social contacts alive and well....
So know that you are not alone. Even we therapists have our issues and we are working together to come to a place in our lives where we can experience true inner peace and balance. It's not easy sometimes.