2020 has been a difficult year for everyone around the world. It started with the COVID-19 pandemic and has continued with the constant devaluing of black lives in the United States. Given this, I wanted to share a few coping techniques my therapist has taught me that have been beneficial for me during this time. I recognize that not everyone has access to a therapist at this time so I wanted to share a few tangible techniques with everyone. Of course, I am not a licensed medical professional and only mean this as helpful starting points. With that being said here are some tips for you:
1. Use the AHA method:
A- Acknowledge what your anxiety is telling you.
H- Humor it. Tell your anxiety, that could happen, but you don't know. No one knows the future.
A- Action. This is the most important step. You need to continue whatever you were doing even with your anxiety. Don't let your anxiety take over your thoughts or actions. You can continue cooking AND be anxious. Recognize that no feeling is permanent.
2. Set a "worry time". For me this means I take a walk everyday and tell my self what I'm feeling anxious or sad about out loud. Exposing yourself to your anxiety without trying to make yourself think that fear will never happen is an important part of making that fear less scary.
3. Remember that humans are resilient. Anxiety tells you that you won't be able to deal with whatever your fear is, but trust that you will.
4. Journal your fears. The caveat here is to not tell yourself that everything will be okay but that YOU will be okay no matter the circumstances. Telling yourself life will be perfect is a safety behavior.
I hope this is a good starting point for you. Have faith in yourself and seek help if you need it. Take care of yourselves my people!