Number 28 – Worry and Stress
Why do we worry and why do we get stressed? These are two emotions that are so unhelpful to us. We know there’s nothing we can do, yet we worry anyway. Or maybe even worry because there’s nothing we can do.
I tend to worry about the unknown or the uncontrollable. Two things that are pretty pointless to worry about. If you don’t know it, you can’t do anything about it. And the controllable is, well, uncontrollable. So, there’s no point worrying. And yet I worry anyway.
This worry isn’t just a mental anxiety, it expresses itself physically as well. Knots of muscle tension in my neck, shoulders and back. Headaches. Upset stomach.
Covid has definitely made all of this worse. Generally, I’m not much of a worrier. I don’t think friends would consider me to be a worrier. In fact, most people would probably think of me as pretty calm and rational under pressure. And, most of the time, I am.
The challenge of Covid is the prolonged periods of time away from people. It creates social anxiety. And when you’re an extrovert like me, social anxiety is not a helpful feeling! You need to interact with people in order to get energy, yet the thought of interacting with people has now become a source of stress.
Covid also brings other elements of concern and anxiety. Just having a tradesman in your home becomes a source of concern. What have they touched? Have we wiped that surface clean? All things that have increased stakes, now that germs might be something far nastier than a cold.
Essentially, the current situation has just exacerbated any worries or stresses we had before. Made everything that little bit harder.
So, if you do find yourself feeling worried or stressed more easily than usual, be kind to yourself. Accept that these are challenging times, and you might be thinking about things slightly differently to normal.
Remind yourself that deep down these worries and stresses are designed as warning systems. They are there to encourage us to change our situation. They are supposed to help. So, check in with yourself once in a while and ask – “can I change anything here?” If you can, act on it. If you can’t, accept and move on.
It sounds simple but it’s a good place to start.