Finding Peace Amid Panic
Updated: Apr 3
Ashlee Albart, LPC-S
Fear is the thief of joy. I know Theodore Roosevelt said it was "comparison", but I think we can both be right. Right now most people are looking at the world quite differently, whether that view is from their home environment while under quarantine or as they operate cautiously in essential jobs within the community. While it makes sense to feel those tentacles of fear given the crisis we are living in, it is important to not allow them to overtake you...but the question is how? Here are some ways that may help.
1) Take a breath. Yes yes, this seems likes obvious advice, but we all need a reminder from time to time. I often suggest to my clients to post a sticky note, write it on their hand, or even set a reminder on their phone. Inhale, exhale as many times as you need.
2) Step back from the news. This does not mean stick your head in the sand and be uninformed, but with the deluge of information it can feel overwhelming. Take a break from the 24 hour news cycle, watch a show, take a walk, play a game, whatever you need to protect yourself from what can sometimes be anxiety provoking.
3) Create. It is a rarity for many of us to be home-bound in such a way, now is the time to dust off the cobwebs of your creative self and make something new. Crochet, paint, draw, bake, dance, play music, cook, craft, write a letter, whatever. You may surprise yourself with your skills and even carry them over past the current crisis.
4) Find the joy. There is a lot to bring us down right now, but that should not prevent all happy moments. As hard as it is, do your best to focus on something uplifting or even do something joyful that you can pass along to others. Now is the time to find and cherish all moments of joy, no matter how small they may be.
There's more of course that can help us calm that feeling of panic, talking to friends and family (virtually of course), starting online therapy, binge watching tv, or even taking a nap. Whatever it is you do, know that you are contributing to your own wellness and that of those around you.
Stay safe and find your calm.
Ashlee Albart is a Licensed Professional Counselor in New Braunfels, Texas. She is available to the New Braunfels community by telemedicine as a service to the community during this time.