Dear Appa, I am scared, always scared. I’m scared of dying and I’m scared of losing people I love. Social media doesn’t help by repeatedly showing me I NEED TO BE WORRIED OR ELSE. I avoid it, but even that feels like some guilt trap. As if I’m not keeping up as much. And that I should. I’m so scared. How do I deal with such fear?
Hey so first of all sit-down.
And know that some of the fear is real. Acknowledge it’s existence. Figure out the source. This is real. The pandemic is real. And in most likelihood, it will affect someone we know.
Once you work from a point of awareness, I feel you will feel slightly more in control because some of your anxiety is well-founded. However, anxiety has a corrosive tendency that can completely render all logic useless. Logic like, if I take the necessary precautions, and if I follow some of what is being prescribed, I should be fine. And even if God forbid I contract the virus, as is becoming very common, I should follow the prescribed steps and I will be fine. Now the problem is that this all sounds great on paper. Without knowing more about the semantics of your life, I’m going to assume that you are a worrier and someone who does have more empathy than less. Ideally, I’d recommend speaking to a professional on a regular basis to assist you through this most unpredictable time. Please note that there is no shame in reaching out to someone who can teach you skills to cope. It’s like going to a swimming coach or getting a tutor to help with algebra. But the willingness to learn and grow needs to be there and the fact that you have written in, speaks volumes.
Meanwhile, help yourself, please.
Switch off. Cold turkey. I don’t know specifics about your life, are you living alone or with family; dependants; working; afraid about losing your job, or access to resources during this time.
I’d suggest, list down your sources of worry and tackle each independently. As a whole, they will seem too big. When you tick off areas that expose you to more anxiety and fear, you will start to feel a sense of comfort develop. Treat yourself like the baby that needs the basics. Find a cocoon and do things that make you feel safe. Try it for a few days that you mark on the calendar. Distract yourself with healthy activities that allow for some normalcy to return. And breathe.
I’d say look up anti-anxiety breathing online.
Reach out to a mentor but remember, their dynamics can impact your energy, so try and use professional sources as much as possible.
Another very effective tool is EFT. Works for me and most I know, I’d recommend Brad Yates who does sessions online and has been especially active during the last few months and is very simple to follow.
Thanks for reaching out dearest. I hope you find some solace in these uncertain times. Personally, what’s working is to look around my space and figuring out all that’s important to me and all that I’m infinitely grateful for and knowing that there is only so much I can control.
Do let me know how you’re feeling. Sending love and best wishes your way.