Riding the waves of stress and anxiety
For nearly three weeks I was in Arizona, helping my mom and stepdad after he had surgery. I was grateful that I was able to not only handle the day-to-day things around their house but also able to continue to teach remotely while I was there. It's always so nice to see so many friendly faces smiling my way through the computer monitor, especially when things are as intense as they are right now.
While I was away, I had an elder member of my family pass away from the effects of COVID-19. A few days later, another member of my family tested positive because they had to go back to work, resulting in four other members of my family being directly exposed. The people who I love with all of my heart had been instantly impacted by this virus, and I was over 500 miles away, unable to do a damn thing about it.
At first I wasn't as freaked out because more than half of them are young adults and one is a toddler. But when the sick member of my family started feeling worse, and then another family member started exhibiting symptoms of what might be coronavirus, my anxiety kicked into full swing.
Being a worrier since basically birth, it was no surprise that I was unable to sleep -- tossing and turning at night because my mind wouldn't stop swirling. While I wouldn't really classify myself as an anxious person, per se, the anxiety kept landing on me like a tidal wave at times. I could feel my chest tightening, my breath becoming more and more shallow.
Remembering that stress is toxic, lowers the immune system, and raises blood pressure, I gathered every bit of knowledge I had inside of my brain on how to bring myself back into a more relaxed state. I've since begun meditating more than just in the morning, which helps me to ground and settle my overactive mind. I'm also practicing an assortment of breathing techniques to help me take it down a notch or twenty.
I'm also checking in with my physical body more often, softening my jaw and upper neck (trapezius) because those are my tension spots. They're rock freaking solid right now, and my massage gun and Fascia Blaster are hardly helping at the moment.
Do you notice the times when your body is responding to stress? What do you do to help calm down? What can you do if you don't already have a remedy? This is definitely the time to set ourselves up for good health. There's no doubt about it. Even if you're not anxious by nature or aren't personally affected by COVID-19, take a moment, scan your body, and come up with a chill-out plan that will be there when you need it.