⚠️WARNING: This post is likely to offend you if you don't understand self-deprecating humor or if you're unaware of your privilege.⚠️
How are all those words in the title even related? I know, it's a mouthful. But when I get passionate about something, I CAN'T HELP IT.
A lot of people are (understandably!) having major anxiety in relation to the current COVID-19 repercussions. But I am noticing a pattern here, that I do not like.
I know, anxiety ain't something you can ever really 💯% control.. but you have to try, right? I mean, if you are not in charge of your mind, then who will be?
As a Latina (and all that being a woman of color means), survivor of all kinds of shit that makes my weaker brethren freak out about, programmer, and autistic human.. I am currently oddly enough not experiencing any anxiety about COVID-19.
Is this because I am an asshole? Unfeeling? Unaware of all the poor people ALL OVER THE WORLD that are losing pay due to cut hours?!
I honestly have no idea WHY I am not feeling any anxiety in this current matter. Well, maybe I do. To some degree. I've trained my mind to not succumb to every stressful situation that comes up, seeing as life seems to be FULL OF THOSE FUCKERS. But seeing as I am not having this trouble that most of my peers are really suffering from, the least I can do is try to give back and help others right now on this whole COVID-19 mess.
As a human who has been diagnosed with Complex-PTSD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and oh-so-many-more-fun-things 😛.. I wanted to write a blog post that helps peeps feel a bit better right now and share some helpful resources for managing anxiety.
This post will address the following main points:
- (1) A Quick History Lesson
- (2) How to Give Back to our Communities and the World right now
- (3) How to determine what is actually worth you freaking out about now
- (4) How to be Compassionate with yourself right now too
I hate to offend you.. but this is not the first time in history a weird little thing blows up, and suddenly is affecting the WHOLE WORLD in all kinds of ways you didn't see coming!!
World World I (oh right, and then WWII was it? why stop at version 1, when you can go on to version 2 right?)
The Great Depression (my poor Polish grandfather barely survived this one, you have no idea the stories he shared with me before he died 2 years ago)
Sexual Trafficking (oh right, this still happens but let's just move on now, shall we?)
The Great Plague of London
Mexican children being held in cages (oh dear, did I hit too close to home?)
Do you see where I'm going with this?
We all need to chill and accept that history does not skip generations.
Freaking out is not what we need from you right now. There are a lot of people who are being truly affected by COVID-19 today and you can re-channel your anxious energy into helping others less fortunate.
People in the food industry are getting cut hours and will appreciate the extra cash to make ends meet!
Your local taco stand served you a MINUSCULE amount of less rice/beans than they normally do. Have you asked yourself if THEY are making ends meet?
(Let's get real here... lots of us techy job people make good money and can afford one!) You do? Great! Ask her if she's been getting cancellations. (SPOILER ALERT: She has. They all have.) You can give back to her in one of two great ways!
- Give her a HUGE tip for each cleaning until this whole COVID-19 mess clears up.
- If you normally ask her to come twice a month, consider scheduling her for a few more times than you normally would. Your wife/husband will love you, and you will be helping out someone who is in the super lower side of the income bracket.
Let me get this straight.. so apparently you DO know that hunger, lack of jobs, suffering AND mass illness strikes 3rd world countries all the damn time, since the beginning of time.. but NOW that it affected YOUR 1st world country, suddenly the world is about to end!
Right. Cool, I guess.
Well, I mean, no. That's a bunch of 👉🏽💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩, and I think that deep down, we all know that.
Look, I get it. Some people can legit say right now that their elder relative is sick and they are terrified of what could happen. But for a lot of us right now, we are not ACTUALLY in danger of losing a loved one.
If this is the case for you too, then let's get back to what IS affecting you right now and talk about how to deal with it.
Some of us are already seeing it's harder to get some groceries and that apparently toilet paper is the new golden commodity.🧻🧻🧻
But some people whose jobs just cut their hours are having LEGIT trouble right now. I wouldn't be surprised if suddenly all these folks are having daily panic attacks. The reality is that for you, COVID-19 is affecting your life, not to mention messing with your brain and anxiety levels.
It's ok! You are not alone. 💕 Which brings me to my last point..
Like my therapist always reminds me 😂😂😂, I have to use the tools learnt in therapy to help me navigate the daily fuckery that life is. (Well, she makes it sound SO MUCH MORE POSITIVE than I do, but you get the idea.)
- Think about what part of your body you are feeling the anxiety in. What does that anxiety feel like, in your body? Depending where it is felt the strongest, you can now focus on finding a solution to loosen you up in that area. (Example: Have you tried a Weighted Hot/Cold Neck Shoulder Wrap yet? You can get one here.)
- Breath in and out deeply, 40 times. Count each one and do not let your mind wander. This long exercise is what therapists have discovered to be a long enough way to "reset" you, so to speak. Remember that when anxious, your breathing tends to accelerate. When this happens, you are losing oxygen to your brain!! So not good, my dear, beautiful human 😢. Breathing exercises are key in moments like these.
And last, but not least...
Don't forget to be frugal and save your 💰💰💰, at least for a bit.
Are you a parent? Do you have some family members that unexpectedly you are hosting to help out in some way during this virus 🦠🦠🦠 mess? Take advantage of the quarantine to do something close and fun you've always "talked about doing" on when you all have "free time." You will be making memories during a unique time in history, that you can now all cherish in years to come. And I mean, get creative my dudes, dudettes, etc!! This is not the time to be lame.. TIME FOR PILLOW FORTS IN THE LIVING ROOM! SCAVENGER HUNT! GHOST STORIES! MAKE A BUNCH OF LOVE LETTERS FOR YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER (IF YOU LIVE TOGETHER..LOL) AND HIDE THEM THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE FOR THEM TO FIND!!
Are you stuck in a remote situation from your loved ones, due to the travel bans? I have no idea what that would be like, dear, beautiful human 😢 but you're not alone! You can use the internet to stay in close touch via video calls, pictures and texts to show them how much you care.
Hang in there, fellow humans,
~Alejandra💁🏻♀️ y Canela🐾